From its Source to the Sea.
FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
L. M. MCCRAITH,
Author of - A GREEN TREE.
The gentle Suir, that, making way
By sweet Clonmel, adorns rich Waterford.''
Spenser's "Faerie (Juce
y loumcl :
THE CLONMEL CHRONICLE NEWSPAPER AND POINTING
M. J. E. a,
THIS BOOK AND ITS WHITER
" THE SONG OF THE Sum " . . . . . , . . 8
INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . 9
TEMPLEMORE . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
THURLES . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
HOLY CROSS . . . . . . . . . . 18
GOLDEN . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
ATHASSEL PRIORY . . . . . . . . 23
ST. PEKAUN'S WELL . . , . . . , . . . 27
KNOCKGRAFFON . . . . . . . . . . 31
THE KING'S STONE . . . . . . . . . . 33
THE FORD OF KNOCKGRAFFON . . . . . . 34
KlLLARDRIGH . . . . . . . . . . 3G
CAHIR . . . . . . . . . . 36
CAHIR ABBEY . . . . . . . , , , 38
CAHIR CASTLE . . . . . . . . . . 39
CAHIR PARK . . . . . . . . . . 44
GARNAVILLA . . . . . . . . . . 45
ROCHESTOWN . . . . . . . . . . 46
ARDFINNAN . . . . . . . . . . . . J 7
LADY ABBEY . . . . . . . . . . 50
NEWCASTLE . . . . . . . . . . 50
KNOCKLOFTY . . . . . . . . . . 51
MARLFIELD . . . . . . . . . . 51
INNISLONAGH ABBEY . . . . .'. . . . . 51
ST. PATRICK'S "W ELL . . . . . . . . . . 52
CLONMEL . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
NEWTOWN ANNER . . . . . . . . 61
SLIEVENAMON . . . . . . . . . . 61
TICKINCOR CASTLE . . . . . . . . 63
DERRINLAUR CASTLE . . . . . . . . . . 63
GURTEEN-LE-POER . . . . . . . . 63
KlLSHEELAN . . . . . . . . . . 64
CARRICK-ON-SUIR . . . . . . . 64
TYBROUGHNEY CASTLE . . . . . . . . 67
FIDDOWN . . . . . . . - . . 67
GRANNAH CASTLE . . . . . . . . . . 67
WATERFORD. . . . . . . . . . . 68
CHEEKPOINT . . . . . . . . . . 74
DUNBRODY ABBEY . . . . . . . . . . 75
NEW GENEVA . . . . . . . . . . 76
CROOK . . . . . . . . . . 77
DUNCANNON . . . . . . . . . . 77
HOOK .. .. .. .. ..78
CONCLUSION, &c. . . . . . . . . 78
APPENDIX FISHING ON THE Sum . . . . . . 81
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
FRONTISPIECE CAHIR CASTLE FROM CAHIR PARK. " THE IYY-CI.AI> BUTLKR
CROWNING STONE, CROSS, AND ROYAL RESIDENCE. ROCK OF CASIIEL
"THE RIPPLE OF THE RIVER THROUGH THE RUSHES." Ax BAI.I.YPREHID . . 10
' ' THE MYSTERiors ROCK OF Pious MEMORY " . . . . . . . . 13
THE SOUTH TRANSEPT OF THE CATHEDUAL. ROCK OF T'ASHKL . . Funnij 14
SKETCH MAP OF THE COURSE OF THE SUIR .. .. .. F<inn<i 10
THE MOST PICTURESQUE VIEW OF HOLY CROSS ABBEY .. .. ,. is
THE ARCADE, HOLY Cuoss ABBEY. " THE UNIQUE FEATURE" .. ., 21
FLORIATED CROSS ON MONUMENTAL SLAB IN ATHASSEL PHIORY . . . . 24
FIGURES ON MONUMENTAL SLAB IN ATHASSEL PRIORY . . . . . . 20
"THE SHATTERED CROSS." ST. PEKAUN'S WELL .. .. ..28
"No WORK OF NATURE." THE MOTE OF KNOCKGRAFFON. .. Facing 31
THE KING'S STONE . . . . , . . . . . . . 33
" THE OLD MILL WHEEL STILL TURNS " .. .. .. ..37
CAHIR ABBEY . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
"CAHIR CASTLE HAS CHANGED LITTLE DURING THE CENTURIES." ., Fm-inii 40
"THE LOTFLY GREEN BANKS OF THE Sum." CAHIU PARK .. .. 41
LATE AUTUMN. CAHIR PARK . . . . . . . . . . 43
THE SUIR FROM RAILWAY BRIDGK, CAHIK .. .. .. .. 44
THE SUIR AT ARDFINNAN .. .. .. .. .. Facing 48
OLD MAP OF CLONMEL . . . . . . . . . . Facing .">'>
THE WEST GATE, CLONMEL . . . . . . . . . . ..">.">
OLD QUAY AND BRIDGE, CLONMEL . . . . . . . . 5G
ST. MARY'S CHURCH, CLONMEL . . . . . . . . . . o7
POULTREALAGH, CLONMEL . . . . . . . . . . . . 5S
THE Sum FI.OM SUIR ISLAND, CLONMEL .. ,. .. :,o
" LIKE A LONG SABRE AT A WARRIOR'S HIP" .. .. .. ..GO
"THE FRIARY is BUILT ON THE OLD FOUNDATION " .. .. Facing f>0
"THE HOUSE AT THE W T EIR." TICKINCOR .. .. .. ..62
KlLSHEELAN BRIDGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . G4
CARKICK CASTLE . . . . . . . . . . . . Facing (55
GRANNAH CASTLE . . . . . . . . . . . . Facing G7
REGINALD'S TOWER, WATERFORD . . . . . . . . . . 70
CHBEKPOFNT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
" CALM REFLECTIONS." TAHIR ABBEY.. .. ..80
NOTE. The Author is indebted to Mr. PHILIP CONDON, Photo-
grapher, Cahir, for kind permission to use several copyright
photographs of Cahir and neighbourhood ; and to the Proprietors
of, Waterford Netcs, Mr. TV. Clarke, Clonmel, and the Editors of
Tipperary** Annual, for the loan of several blocks.
If you hear the river sing in youth's sweet spring,
When primrose gold is all you seek, the primrose gold that fairies fling
In this Old Land, the Ever Young, hear u-hen the fresh cheek flushes
The ripple of the river through the rushes.
You can hear it at high noon in sunny June,
While swallows skim, and salmon leap, or underneath the lovers' 1 moon
When you picture loved one's blushes, and hear through songs of thrushes
The ripple of the river through the rushes.
You may hear it in the fall, recalling all
Old scenes, old friends, old ways, old days, old /topi* come back at its soft call.
Just an echo ! Yet the yearning for it sweeps the heart in gushes
The ripple of the river through the rushes.
You shall hear it through the cold ivhen you are old,
Through storm and stress and winter frost and chill that comes from greed of gold,
Shall hear, who heard it long ago, till death your hearing hushes
The ripple of the river through the rushes.
L. M. MeCRAITH.
[From a Drawing ly tTie
Crowning Store, Cross, and Royal Residence. Rock of Gashel.
" THE SUIR, the Barrow, and the Xore began to flow on the night that
King Conn of the Hundred Battles was born," write the old Annalists.
The source of the Suir is in the Devil's Bit Mountains, in North Tip-
perary, about six miles north-west of the town of Templemore.
As travellers on the Great Southern and Western Railway of Ire-
land leave Ballybrophy Junction and glide out into the great plain
known as " the Golden Vein" of Tipperary, the most unobservant must
notice the " Gap," or " Bite," in the steep range of hills iipon their
right. The Devil we are told was pursuing an adversary, and, being
Immgry and angry, he bit a great piece out of that mountain-top. Then,
in his rage, as he sped over the sweeping plain, he spat it out again at
his opponent. So it comes that the Rock of Cashel, a mass of
limestone, rises, inconsequently, out of the green pastures of " the
Golden Vein." This is the account given by a people to whom God,
the Unseen, Good and Evil, are still things real enough to seem tangible.
Others, more learned, talk more convincingly to modern ears of
glacial epochs and scorings. But there in the plain rises this
mysterious Rock of pious memory, 300 feet high crowning place
pilgrims' goal holy ground " Cashel of the Kings."
Few views in the Three Kingdoms can rival that from the tower of
the ruined Cathedral on the Rock of Cashel. Although the sea is hidden
behind the Knockmealdowns and the Waterford Mountains, and the
river itself is hidden by its wooded banks, the view embraces the whole
valley of the Suir. From this centt-e of the ancient Kingdom of Munster,
the capital of the Soiithern Half (Leth Mogha) of Erin, a glorious circle
of mountains may be surveyed, within which circle some of the most
stirring events of Ireland's history have taken place. The Suir flows
southwards from the Devil's Bit to TEMPLEMOHE and THURLES. Then,
meeting the magninceitt range of the Galtees, it turns eastward beyon'd
CAHIR, and winds its L-shaped way between the Waterford Mountains
and the Commeraghs, forming the boundary, first, between the Counties
of Waterford jwid Tipperary, and, then, between those of Waterford
10 THE Sum FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
and Kilkenny, until it reaches the sea, by way of CLOXMEL, CARRICK, and
ST. PATRICK founded a church upon the Rock of Cashel. He bap-
tised the Chieftain ^Engus there, and held a Synod, together with St.
Ailbe and St. Declan. He annexed the Bock in the name of Christianity
for all time. But what did he find there ?
Before St. Patrick's day, the " Caisel," or stone fort, already ex-
isted, and Cashel was a King's residence. May be, the strange old
Round Tower perfect still, and now built into the south-eastern angle
"The Ripple of the River through the Rushes." At Ballydrehid. [Photo // the Author.
of the south transept of the Cathedral stood there even then. Cer-
tainly the great hollow stone, which now forms the pedestal of one of
the oldest High Crosses in Ireland, was then upon the Rock. It was
probably used for the sacrificial rites of the Druids. Later, the Kings
of Munster were crowned upon it. Some even claim that this and not
the stone under the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey is the
true " Lia Fail," or Stone of Destiny. The cross placed upon it is
now but a fragment. Its age is certified by the fact that the figure
of the Crucified, upon the one side, is clothed, as in all earliest repre-
sentation. Fpon the east side there is the pontifical figure, with the
THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 11
pastoral staff, and hand raised in blessing, which, tradition has always
held, represents St. Patrick.
At the coming of St. Patrick, Tara was the seat of Irish govern-
ment. It was then at the climax of its importance. The Irish High
King (Ard-Righ) LAOGHAIRE (pronounced LEAHY) was a sovereign
civilised enough to require a Code of the Laws of Ireland, and he was
surrounded by a court of learned Druids, accomplished Brehons (lawyers)
and Shanachies (story-tellers) with memories stored with history.
After the well-known episode of the preaching of this " Shaven-
crown" at Tara, and the miracle of the Easter Fire, Laoghaire con-
sented, at least, to persecute no longer. But for himself paganism was
good enough. He desired to die and be buried, like his fathers, stand-
ing, in his full war-apparel and with all his weapons, his face towards
his foes. Others might lie prone, with feet towards the dawn, not
he. But the new Faith might exist with the old Druidism. It might
even become the State religion. So much did St. Patrick accomplish.
The Ard-Righ of Ireland held sovereignty at Tara by the choice of
the lesser Kings, and by force of arms. As centuries went on, the
Southern Kingdom of Minister increased in strength, and Cashel the
ancient seat of the Minister Kings became the successful rival of Tara,
cursed and deserted. The Southern Half (now Leth Mogha) of Ireland
elected the King of Cashel. At times as in the case of the scholar-
saint, Cormac Mac Cullinan one man combined the offices of Bishop
and Monarch. This Cormac was killed at the battle of Ballaghmoon
in 908. He was the compiler of the " Saltair of Cashel" now unfortu-
nately lost and the author of many books and poems; but it is doubtful
if he was the founder of that crown of Irish ecclesiastical art, still the
glory of the Rock of Cashel, namely, " Cormac's Chapel." This unique
and exquisite building was probably the work of another Cormac, also
King and Bishop Cormac MacCarthy and it was completed, probably,
in 1134. In this chapel the strange and symbolical art of old Erin
reached its full flower. Rich carvings adorn evei"y stone. Those old
craftsmen knew their lesson, and could teach it. Therefore, round the
chancel arch they carved quaint heads. Those at the sides are distorted,
horrible, and look down. Above the round arch the faces are calm
and fair and look upward; for "men may rise on stepping-stones of
their dead selves to higher things."
In this Chapel is the great sarcophagus, once known as " the Font,"
which, most probably, was the resting-place of Cormac Mac Art's bones.
12 THB SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
It was removed from a recess in the north wall outside the Chapel in
the last century. In it was found the Crozier of exquisite gold-work
now in the National Museum in Dublin. It is broken, but the match-
less interlacing, deeply carved upon the stone, may still be traced.
Careful study discloses a design of grotesque greyhounds and serpents.*
The serpents are swallowing \ip the greyhounds. Time is the Swift
Greyhound. The Serpent has long been used in art as the symbol of
Eternity. Therefore, on the great Munster King's coffin, the Celtic
artists set forth their hope of that Eternity which swallows up Time.
The old craftsmen teach still. We have not yet mastered their lesson.
Once but only once in her troubled history Ireland was united
under one King. This King was BRIEN BOROIMHE (" of the Tribute"),
that mighty slayer of invading Danes, sometimes called " the Irish
Alfred." Brien became King of Munster on the death of his brother
Mahon in 976, and assumed the position of Ard-Righ, or High King, in
1001. He was slain, in the hour of victory, by the retreating Danes
after the Battle of Clontarf on Good Friday, 1014. It was during the
days of Brien that ft was said a maiden might go from end to end of
Ireland alone, covered with jewels and unattended, and yet fear no
attack upon honour or upon possessions, so just and powerful was his
rule. While Brien was King of Munster, about 990, he built for him-
self the Royal Residence upon the Rock of Cashel.
Brien's descendant, and successor in the Munster Kingdom, DONAL
MOH O'BRIEN (Mor, " the Great") was a notable church builder. He
greatly increased the endowments of the See of Cashel, and by 1169 he
had built the Cathedral on the summit of the Rock. He was obliged to
fit his Cathedral in between the ancient Round Tower, the glorious little
Church of Cormac even then, perhaps, " old-fashioned," or even gre-
tesque, to some and the more recent Royal Residence. Thus it comes
that we find, crowded together on this mysterious limestone hill, four
buildings which are among the most remarkable in all Ireland. They
form a combination of unrivalled interest. All these worthy buildings
were erected previous to the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169.
The English connection with Cashel began in 1172. In that year,
HENRY II. of England came there to receive the " submission" of flie
Irish Kings and chiefs at the ancient seat of the Southern Kingdom.
The Kings and chiefs did homage, but they were probably quite ignorant
of the meaning of those fe\>dal rites to which they were expected to con-
THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
form. Henry II also held a Srnod at Cashel, with the object of effecting
conformity between Irish and English religions practices.
The vows of allegiance were quickly broken by King Donald Mor
O'Brien, and, in 1174, STROXGBOW marched out of his territories in
Leinster to Cashel to give him battle. With Donald Mor of Minister
was CONOR, son of Roderick, the last Ard-Righ of Ireland. Strongbow
was defeated at Thurles, and compelled to retreat to Waterford.
The town of Cashel was many times burnt, and, in 1194, the Cathe-
dral was burnt also by Gerald (GARET MOR), " the Great Earl" of Kil-
dare. He defended the act when questioned by Henry VII. by sayi"g
'The Mysterious Rock of Pious Memory.'
'Photo IKJ P. Condon Cah :
that " never would he have done it but that he was sure his enemy,
Archbishop CREAGHE, was within it." His answer amused the King,
and when the great Geraldine's accusers cried: " All Ireland cannot rule
this man!" Henry VII replied: " Then he shall rule all Ireland!" The
penurious monarch may have realised that this was the cheapest method
of governing his turbulent Irish Kingdom.
The most notable, and notorious, of burnings, however, was that by
Cromwell's man, Lord IXCHIQUIX, in 1647. The priests and people of
Cashel had taken refuge within the Cathedral and Residence and for-
tified them, but were destroyed utterly by fire and sword. Henceforward
14 THE SCIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
Inchiquin went by the name of " Morrough of the Burnings" through-
out Ireland. From the days of the Stuarts Cashel began to decline.
The Cathedral was desecrated and devastated. In the next century
the Protestant Archbishop, PRICE, unroofed it, and completed its ruin,
for which act, it is said, his ghost is still compelled to wander in the
corridors of the Deanery, a beautiful old mansion at the foot of the
Rock, which was, in former days, the Bishop's Palace.
The seven great, straight highways still converge upon Cashel, as
if the poor little town of some three thousand inhabitants were still the
hub of the wheel, the centre of a Kingdom. But no history is made
at " Cashel of the Kings" nowadays. Until recently, life's river passed
it by, and left it in a backwater: for there was no railway within ten
miles. Now a branch line connects Cashel with Goold's Cross, on the
G.S. and AV. Railway, and lands travellers at the very foot of the Rock.
The South Transept of the Cathedral
Rock of Cashel. 'J'hoto lij tin Author.
The Course of the River.
THE first town through which the Suir flows is Templemore, eleven
miles north of Casliel. It is a pleasant town of some 2,500 inhabitants,
charmingly situated upon the river's banks. Probably the TEAMPFLL
MOB (or " Great Church") from which the town takes its name existed
before the coming of the Anglo-Normans, but this name is also said to
be derived from the Preceptory founded here by the Knights Templars
in the twelfth century. The square keep of the ancient Castle of the
Templars, which was afterwards destroyed by fire, is all now remaining
in Templemore to recall to posterity those military monks, in their white
tunics, with their red cross banners, their untrimmed beards, and their
uncrested helmets. The Order of " the Poor Soldiers of the Holy
City," which originated in 1117, was abolished, under circumstances of
cruelty and injustice, by Philip IV. (Le Bel) of France and Pope Cle-
ment V. in 1312.
In the grounds of " The Abbey" there is the gable-end of a ruined
church. A round-headed doorway and a two-light Gothic window still
The picturesque range of the Devil's Bit Mountains, distant some
five miles, overlooks the town. There are substantial military barracks,
with accommodation for 1,000 men, and 50 officers. These were built
since the time of which George Borrow speaks in his " Lavengro," when
he describes Templemore as "a large military station in wild and thinly
inhabited country." In the same chapter he writes : " One of the most
peculiar features of this part of Ireland is the ruined castles, which are
so thick and numeroxis that the face of the country seems studded with
them, it being difficult to choose any situation from which one, at least,
may not be descried. They are of various ages and styles of architec-
ture, some of great antiquity, like the stately remains which crown the
Crag of Cashel; others built by the early English conquerors; others
and probably the greater part erections of the time of Elizabeth and
Cromwell the whole speaking monuments of the troubled and insecure
state of the country from the most remote periods to a comparatively
16 THE Sura FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
This description of the district about Templemore applies to the
whole valley of the Suir. The Anglo-Normans seized upon the fertile
lands of " the Golden Vein," and the Butlers, and the rest, established
a Pale, which the greater number of these castles, or tower-houses,
were built to protect. These were always surrounded by a bawn, or
enclosed courtyard, into which retainers, their families, and possessions,
as well as cattle, could be crowded upon the reported advance of an
enemy, whose movements might be flashed by signal from one tower to
another over a wide area. These splendid specimens of masonry have
defied time and weather, and are characteristic features of the whole
of the country watered by the Suir. Their history is, in most cases,
lost, and only a few of the more important are alluded to in these pages.
" Neither chief nor clansman went far to marry, or to bury, in those
old days," says Sir William Butler, that notable soldier-son of Tipperary,
in his " Autobiography." " Wherever you find one of those lonely,
lofty, square stone towers, called ' castles,' in Ireland, you will also
find, close by, the ruined church, with mounds and mouldering Ueadstones
SOME eight miles from Templemore, spreading itself upon both banks
of the Suir, is the ancient town of Thurles. The town has a distinctive,
old-world, almost ecclesiastical, character of its own. Its name is a cor-
ruption of the Irish DURLAS, a fortress. In the " Annals of the Four
Masters" we read of a chief of Durlas, by name Maelduin, who was
slain in 660 A.D. Thurles was the scene of one of the few signal defeats
of the Danes by the Irish. This took place in the tenth century, and
was long remembered and recorded locally. As has been said. Thurles
was also the scene of the defeat of Strongbow by a coalition of Irish
chiefs in 1174. When Strongbow heard that Conor and Donal Mor were
advancing against him, he sent to Dublin for help. A contingent of
Danish settlers and Norman soldiers, natural allies, came to his assis-
tance. They endeavoured to join him at Thurles, but there, by the
banks of the Suir, 1,700 of Strongbow's men were slain. Donal Mor
O'Brien was in command that day, and it would seem that the field was
a fortunate spot to him ; for when he returned to that same place
seventeen years later, to fight another battle against the English, he
was again victorious. In 1197, however, six years afterwards, the Kng-
lish took Thurles, and " burnt many churches and temples."
THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
Among the many notable Normans who established themselves in
Ireland (and in time became " more Irish than the Irish") were the
BUTLERS. Th3obald FitzWalter came in the train of Henry II. in 1172.
He was kin to Thomas A'Becket, and it was part of the, King's accepted
penance that he should ennoble all the murdered Archbishop's rela-
tives. Henry II. gave FitzWalter large grants of Irish land, in return
for which FitzWalter was to act as the King's Chief Butler and to
hand him a cup of wine after his Coronation. Hence the name of the
family. The Butlers ever remained loyal to the Sovereign whose vas-
sals they were, and were frequently in opposition to that other powerful
Norman house, the Fitzgeralds, or Geraldines, who were descended from
Strongbow's Knight, son-in-law, and right-hand, Raymond Le Ciros,
and were represented by the Earls of Kildare and Desmond.
The Butlers obtained large possessions in Wicklow, and in fertile
Tipperary, and early in the thirteenth century became possessed of
Thurles. The Butlers were ever notable as castle-builders, and founders
of religious houses. They began to build on the banks of the Snir.
Within the last half-century there were remains of no fewer than nine
castles in this town. James Butler was created Earl of Ormonde in
1328. About that time (1324) he caused the castle to be built, the
Norman keep of which still guards the bridge across the slow-flowing
Suir. The Butlers also built, or endowed, Carmelite and Franciscan
Monasteries at Thurles, and there, as well as at Templemore, the
Knights Templars established a Preceptory. Viscount Thurles still re-
mains the inferior title of the Marquis of Ormonde, the head of the
Thurles to-day is an important and thriving town of about -5,000
inhabitants. It has a notable horse fair, and it is the centre of a rich
grazing and grain-growing district. It is the seat of the Arch-
diocese of Cashel and Diocese of Emly, and contains a magnificent
Roman Catholic Cathedral and a handsome archiepiscopal residence.
The bells and the organ of the Cathedral are notably fine. There is
also a fine Roman Catholic College, two convents, and a monastery, the
whole forming, as it were, a kind of religions quarter. Thurles was the
scene of the famous Roman Catholic Synod in 18-50.
From Thurles onward the Suir flows through the country of which
the poet Spenser said that it was " the richest champain that may else
be rid." Soon there comes in sight the mountain which he speaks of
as " the best and fairest hill that was in all this Holy Island's heights."
namely, (Jaltee Mor, the highest peak of the Galtee range.
THE SUIR FBOM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
BEYOND Thurles, the Suir, now a broad and shallow stream, flows lazily,
through sedge and reeds and fringes of flowering water-weeds, between
some of the finest pasture lands in Minister. About three miles south-
"The Most Picturesque View of Holy cross Abbey.
I n Drawing // the Author.
west of Thurles, on the right bank, low down by the river-side, stands
the lovely ruin of the once far-famed Abbey of Holy Cross.
This Abbey was founded in 1168, for Benedictines, by that inde-
fatigable church-builder, Donal Mor O'Brien, King c? Minister. The
original charter is still in existence, by which it appears that, about
1182, the Abbey was transferred from the Black Monks to the White
that is, from the Benedictines to the Cistercians. Early in the twelfth
century (1110), the Pope, Pascal II., gave to the grandson of Brien
Boroinihe, Donough O'Brien, a bit of the True Cross. It was magni-
ficently enshrined and set about with precious stones, and confided to
the care of the Cistercians. In 1214 this Abbev was re-built, and about
THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 19
that time the sacred relic, which gave its name to HOLY CROSS, came
to its resting-place on the banks of the Suir. This relic, being amongst
the most revered in Christendom, the Abbey was, for over three and a
half centuries, one of the most frequented places of pilgrimage in Ire-
land. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth the English described the relic
as " the idol which the Irish more superstitiously reverence than all the
idolatries in Ireland."
In 1600, the great Hugh O'Neill came in state to Holy Cross to
visit the holy relic, for reasons no less political than pious. " He
marched through the centre of the island at the head of his troops to
the South a kind of royal progress, which he thought tit to call a pil-
grimage to Holy Cross. He held princely state there, concerted
measures with the Southern lords, and distributed a manifesto an-
nouncing himself as the accredited Defender of the Faith."
In 1603, Red Hugh O'Donnell came to Holy Cross, on his way to
the disastrous battle of Kinsale, and demanded that the fragment of
the True Cross should be borne out to him at the West Door to bless
him on his way.
The Abbey of Holy Cross was suppressed in 1536, at the break-up of
the monastic orders in Ireland. In 1563, Elizabeth conferred the Abbey
lands upon Gerald Earl of Ormonde. The Butlers remained friendly,
if not faithful, to the Old Faith, and the line of Abbots continued at
Holy Cross until as late as 1700. The relic also passed eventually into
Butler hands. It was exposed for public veneration for the last time
in Holy Cross Abbey about the year 1632. In that year, Walter,
eleventh Earl of Ormonde, seeing his grandson, the first Duke, had be-
come a Protestant, confided the relic to Catholic keeping, " until such
time as the House of Ormonde should return to the Old Faith." Sub-
sequently, it passed through various hands, until in 1809 it was given
to the Catholic Bishop of Cork, who deposited the relic in the Frsuline
Convent in Cork. It continues in the Frsulines' keeping, having moved
with them to Blackrock.
Perhaps the most interesting thing which remains in ruined Holy
Cross Abbey is the lovely little pillared shrine between the two side-
chapels in the north transept. This arcade is a fine example of
thirteenth century carving. Its pointed arches spring from a double
row of beautifully twisted pillars. Its roof is a marvel of graceful
groining. Every variety of delightful detail has been lavished upon
this little sanctuary. Its sides are elaboratelv adorned with fine
20 THE SU-JR FKOM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
carving. The design of two doves and two owls, kissing, is repeated
upon the panels, and the beautiful Gothic details show a French in-
fluence. The elaborate wealth of detail and the loving workmanship
point to some special, and important, purpose for this unique feature.
It has been suggested that here the dead Cistercians lay before burial.
But surely no dead brother, but rather the Belie the True Cross itself
occupied such a shrine? Was it within this greatly ornamented little
arcade that the Relic was preserved when not exposed upon the Gospel
side of the High Altar? This is, however, a matter of controversy.
Another matter of keen controversy is " the Tomb of the Good
Woman's Son." Who was " the Good Woman"? Why are the Royal
Arms of England carved on the shields between the arches of the canopy
of the Tomb, together with those of Ormonde and Desmond? Was
" the Good Woman" an English Queen, her son a Plantagenet Prince?
Was he " Pierce the Fair," son of Isabella of Angoulsme, the widow of
King John, by her second husband, Le Brim, Count of Le Marche and
half-brother of King Henry III. ? His death is recorded by the Four
Masters as having occurred in Ireland in 1233. Many maintain that
this canopied monument is nothing more than a beautifully elaborate
three-seated sedellia for the priests. Others suggest that it is the
tomb of one who re-built the Abbey of Holy Cross, "in a far finer style
than that of King Donald," at the close of the fourteenth centxiry. The
position, at the north side of the High Altar, is that usually assigned
Legend and tradition tell a more mysterious and interesting tale.
The personality of " the Good Woman's Son" is sufficiently interesting
to make it worth while to quote the local story, as told hfl- the custodian
of the ruins, in her own words :
" The King of England's son he was, and he was sent over to Ire-
land to collect the Peter's Pence for the Pope. Now, there was a family
in these parts in those times by name Geratty, and they knew of all
the money the young Prince had with him. So they followed him to a
lonely place, and and set upon him and killed him there, and stole the
money. Then they buried the body in the soft ground in the wood,
without waiting to know was the life gone out of it altogether or int.
" Xow, in the Abbey of Holy Cross at this time there was an old
monk, and he was blind. One night he dreamed a dream. He dreamt
that the Good Woinan, his mother, had placed upon the young prince's
THE SCIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
finger a sacred ring, and if the monk could touch that ring he would
get hack his sight. And he told his dream to the Abbot. Again he
dreamed the dream, and he saw the very place where the Prince was,
in a wood not far away. And the third time he dreamed the dream,
and he told the Abbot. After that the Abbot gave him leave to take one
of the younger brethren and go search for the spot, to satisfy him.
The Arcade, Holy Cross Abbey. "The Unique Feature.'
<iy by the Anthi
" So the two went, but nothing could they find. In the end, when
the young monk was for taking the blind one back to the Abbey again,
what did he see, sticking up out of the ground, but a man's hand? And
there was a ring on it! The old monk took hold of the ring,, and the
sight came back to him !
" By that means the Prince's body was found, and brought to Holy
Cross for burial. And when ' the Good Woman,' his mother, heard of
it, she sent grand presents to the Abbey, and she had this grand tomb
put over 1*e spot Avhere the monks buried him.
" As for the Gerattys, thfre was a curse on them for what the#
had done, and after it tluey cljanged their name, and went by the name
of Fogertty, and sorry enough they were for their crime. There is a
THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
stone here, set in the corner of the High Altar of course, it is only set
up by the Board of Works to show where the High Altar stood, for the
dear knows where the real stones were thrown to by the soldiers when
they were quartered in the ruins a hundred years ago and there is a
little round hole right through that stone. That hole was bored through
the stone by the dropping of a tear. For seven generations they re-
pented, and as the tear wore the hole through the slab of stone the
curse wore away from the Fogerttys.
" So some say, anyway, and a priest wrote it all down in a book
lately so I'm told and sure isn't it as likely as not it is true, after
The chief beauty of Holy Cross Abbey which remains are its
windows. Their tracery is, perhaps, unmatched in perfection in Ire-
land, and its elaboration points to the fourteenth, rather than the
twelfth, century. Xo doubt they belong to the period of the Abbey's
splendid restoration whenever exactly that took place. The reticulated
(or " honeycomb") east window is notably fine. It is particularly
beautiful when observed from the opposite bank of the Suir, from which
the most picturesque view of Holy Cross Abbey may be obtained. The
plan of the Church of the Holy Cross is cruciform, with double side-
chapels. Quaint bits of carving here and there have escaped the hand
of the spoiler and the ignorant. But for many years the Abbey passed
from one to another, and fell into a lamentable condition. About thirty
years ago the Board of Works took over the ruin, restored it
to some decency and order, and ensured its preservation. The cloisters,
however, are in private hands, and the Cloister garth is used as a croquet
The site of Holy Cross is unimpressive. Thick groves of trees now
surround the ruins, which are of gi-eat extent, and in remarkably good
preservation, all things considered. Little houses cluster round the
approaches to the Abbey, as they may have done in the monastic days.
It is not easy to picture the stately processions which must have
crossed the old bridge and wound their way to the West Door. Holy
Cross has still about it a peaceful, graceful, scholastic charm hard to
describe or define, not easy to account for. Perhaps the aura of calm,
holy, austere lives still lingers, like the perfume in dead rose-leaves.
There is a homeliness about Holy Cross, for all that its rule was Cis-
tercian and its Abbots Lords of Parliament and Vicars-General of the
Order, as well as " Earls of Holy Cross."
THE Sum FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 23
The Suir at Holy Cross is spanned by an ancient bridge, which was
built in 16'26 by James Butler, Baron Dunboyne, and his wife Margaret
O'Brien, a descendant, doubtless, of King Donald, the Abbey's founder.
Their pious act is recorded in Latin on a carved stone set in the wall
facing the ruins. It bears the Butler and O'Brien arms, with the
initials of James and Margaret, and a Latin inscription, which ends:
" His precor ante abitum verbo non amplius uno evadat stygio> auctor
uterq. lacus," and bids the traveller to " say a short prayer that both
the builders may escape the Stygian Lake.''
It was only natural, in mediaeval days, that bridge building should
be accounted a blessed and meritorious deed. Women, to whom the
difficulties of media?val travelling, no doubt, came home with special
force, were ever foremost in this work in Ireland. The famoxis and
beautiful Margaret O'Carroll, " An Kinigh" ("The Bountiful"), was long
remembered as a Builder of Bridges, as well as a giver of feasts, in the
fifteenth century. In this case, another Margaret evidently followed
her example a century later.
FROM Holy Cross, the Suir ripples on quietly past the little village -,f
Golden, sometimes known as " Golden Bridge." The few houses cluster
on both banks of the river, which is here crossed by a long, stone bridge
of great antiquity. In the middle, on an island, there are remains of
the old circular tower which, in bye-gone days, protected this pass of the
Suir. In 1690 the citizens of Cashel, having hospitably received ai.d
entertained the adherents o*f William III. who had been woiindecl at the
siege of Limerick, that monarch restored by letter the Charter of the
City of Cashel. The letter is said to have been written on the Bridge of
Golden, and is still in the keeping of the Cashel Corporation. There are
many ruined mills and castles in the vicinity of the river. One old tower
is picturesquely utilised as the gateway to a modern home of the Scully
ABOUT a mile or more south of Golden, upon the east bank of the Suir,
are the imposing ruins of Athassel Priory.
Magnificence of plan, splendour of achievement, these are the ir-
resistible impressions left on the mind by the remains of this great
Augustinian foundation. The ruins cover acres of level ground beside
24 THE Sum FBOM ITS SOURCE TO THK SEA.
the river, the site being chosen with the usual judgment and taste of the
monks of the olden time. The Nave is one hundred and twenty feet
in length, and nearly sixty feet broad. The West Door is still sufficiently
preserved to show its bold and splendid workmanship. There are wide
transepts, and many side chapels, which follow the usual Cistercian and
Augustinian plan. The walls and dimensions of an imposing gate-
Floriated Cross on Monumental Slab in Athassel Priory.
house, groined guest-parlour, chapter house, dormitories, and farmery
may still be traced. All speak, even still, of a large community, inv-
portant guests, powerful patrons, and secure endowments.
THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 25
The patrons of Athassel were the De Burghos. Tlie Priory was
founded about 1200 by William FitzAldhelm de Burgho, a Norman
Knight, and kinsman of Henry II. In 1176, Henry 11. sent his kins-
man de Burgho, with a train of nobles, to Ireland to govern the country
as the King's " Lord Justice," or viceroy, after Henry's depart i.iv.
FitzAldhelm founded a powerful family in Ireland, which allied itself
with the De Lacys and the Butlers, and became, and for centuries re-
mained, the strongest opponent to the famous Geraldines of Kildare and
Desmond. Theobald FitzWalter, the first Butler, received the lands
of Athassel and Ardmayle as part of the marriage portion of his wife,
Margery, grand-daughter of William Fit/Aldhelm. Previous to this
marriage, William had founded the Priory on the Suir at Athassel for
Canons Regular of the Order of St. Augustine. He was buried within
the Priory walls in 1204. The spot is uncertain, but there are several
interesting carved monumental stones on the floor of the ruins, almost
hidden by weeds and nettles. Upon one, which might well he the
founder's tomb from its position, there is a beautiful floriated incl.ed
cross. The altar in one of the side chapels is remarkable for haii:r.;
retained its original altar-stone, marked with five crosses for the Five
Wounds of Our Lord, as was usual in early days. Most of these stones
were removed, or destroyed, after the Reformation.
William FitzAldhelm's grandson, Walter, who died from battle
wounds in his castle of Galway on July 28, 1271, was brought for br.rial
to " Athassel by the Sure." Walter was the first de Burgho Eari of
Ulster, that title coming to him through his wife, Maud, the only child
of Hugh de Lacy, one of the first Anglo-Xorman invaders.
Possibly it is the face of de Lacy's daughter which we can still trace
cut on the stone slab beside the High Altar. She holds a processional
cross in her left hand, and looks towards the figure of her husband, in
his ample robe and flowing locks, depicted upon the left side of the slab.
She has a long nose, tight lips, and narrow eyes a face full of suppressed
power. The man's face beside hers is a weaker one, with a pointed
chin. He is represented as either bald or tonsured. Possibly, Walter
in later life took some religious vows at Athassel.
Although the ruins at Athassel have been taken over, and partially
restored, by the Board of Works, the present condition of these interesting
monumental slabs, prone upon the ground and obscured by grass, nettles,
and damp weeds, leaves much to be desired.
Walter's son and successor was the famous " Red Earl," Richard,
THE Sum FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
second Earl of Ulster. He was accounted the most powerful Irish sxib-
ject of Henry III., and, probably, he did not account himself a subject
at all. In the days of the feeble Edward II. he vied with the King's
favourite, Piers Gaveston, for the office of Lord Deputy, and, on Gaves-
ton's recall, sxicceeded him. He spent his life at war with the Geral-
dines until, in 1304, he made alliance with them by the marriages of two
of his daughters. Another of his daughters Elizabeth became the
Figures on Monumental Slab in Athassel Priory.
second wife of Robert Bruce, King of Scotland, and followed him in
his wanderings and hardships, although, it would seem, unwillingly.
The Red Earl was suspected of Bruce leanings during the invasions
of Edward Bruce in 1315. He was imprisoned in 1316, but was released
by order of Edward III. Some ten years later, after a strenuous and
stirring career, he sought the rest of religious retirement. The old
man attended the Parliament held in Kilkenny in 1326. He gave a
farewell banquet of great magnificence, and then he withdrew to his
THE SOR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
favourite " Athassel neare to Cashel." By Midsummer Day, 1326, he
was dead. Doubtless the day of the Red Earl's burial in Athassel saw
the zenith of the Priory's splendeur.
Richard's grandson, William, known as " the Brown Earl," who
succeeded him, was the last de Burgho Earl of Ulster. He was slain
by treachery at Carrig Fergus (Carrickfergus) in 1333. On his death
his Countess, Maud Plantagenet (a great grand-daughter of Htnry II.),
fled to the English Court with her only child, the little Elixaheth de
Burgho, who afterwards became the wife of Lionel Duke of Clarence,
and brought the Earldom of Ulster to the English Crown. Several
branches of the de Burgho family settled in the West as well as the
South of Ireland, and spelt their name Burke, or Bourke.
During his lifetime " the Brown Earl" was in conflict with the
Chief of Munster, Bryan O'Brien. Bryan defeated him in 1329, over-
ran Tipperary County, burnt the village of Athassel, and, as it would
appear, the Priory as well, although this is not stated.
It is likely that after Bryan's burnings the central tower (now
over seventy feet high) fell in, and was reconstructed upon a barrel
arch, traces of which remain, instead of on the groined roof which, evi-
dently, had broken down. Certain interesting architectural features
point to reconstruction about this date.
Athassel Priory was dissolved during the reign of Edward VI. In
the reign of his sister Mary it was granted by the Crown to Thomas
Butler, Earl of Ormonde. After that, like all church lands, it passed
through many hands. The millrace became clicked : the mill
ground no more; the walls crumbled; the roofs fell in. Athassel wel-
comed no more rich guests, nor great patrons. Only quiet corpses of
humble persons claimed the Priory's hospitality. But still the " ever-
flowing stream" of " the gentle Suyre" ripples past the graceful three-
light eastern window. The salmon still leap in " the fishful Suire,"
and the yellow iris waves its head as in the days when the Augustinian
brethren fished from its pleasant banks and boated on its limpid pools.
ST. PEKATJN'S WELL.
NOT far from the Suir, between Athassel and Cahir, under the Galtees,
"by Tureen, there is a curious and picturesque place of pilgrimage. On
every 1st of August the " Patern of Pekaun" is still held. Numbers
of pious persons and children numbers which annually diminish, how-
ever, in these days of hurry and emigration come from the surrounding
28 THE Sum FHOM ITS SOUUCE TO THE SEA.
country and the encircling mountains to perform their " rounds," or
religious exercises, to kneel and recite prayers at the various "stations,"
and to drink and 1 to wash t " St. Pekaun's" Well.
Even in pre-Christian days the Holy Wells of Ireland have been
celebrated, and regarded with peculiar veneration.
" The Holy Wells the living wells the cool, the fresh, the pure,
" A thousand ages rolled away, and still these founts endure."
Christianity and Christian baptism gave to these wells a new impor-
" The Shattered Cross." St. Pekaun's Well. [Photo by the A*t*or.-]
tance and sanctity. The missionary and the anchorite came to the Holy
" And in the sylvan solitude, or lonely mountain cave,
Beside it passed the hermit's life, as stainless as its wave."
This well is xmder an old thorn tree, and a little distance from it,
towards the east, are the remains of a stone circle just large enough to
contain a recumbent man. The opening of the circle points due east.
Was this the Saint's cell, so built that the first beams of the rising sun
must strike upon his sleeping eyes? If so, what mean the pair of
curiously hollowed stones in the centre of the cell ? W r ere it not for their
position, they might be either querns or holy water stotips. Were
they always in their present position, or were they removed to this cell
from the little ruined church across the stream, some fifty yards away?
THE Sura FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 29
" Pekaun's Well " is a place of such questions. Cell and church must
be of remote antiquity. Inside both may be found memorial slabs
carved with ringed crosses, and there is a shattered slab in the church
on the pieces of which may be traced the letters of the Saint's name.
The shape of the crosses, and that of the letters, both date as ?arly as
the seventh century.
" Pekaun" is undoubtedly a corruption of Beacan, an Irish saint of
the sixth century The historian, Geoffry Keating born at Burgess,
not far from the Suir, and within a do/en miles of this spot gives an
interesting story about St. Beacan which is worth quoting it only for
the remarks which Keating makes on the subject of its veracity, which
serve at once as a guide and an apologia for the insertion in a historical
record of the more marvellous of Keating' s stories. We shall bear more
of Fiacha Muilleathan when we reach the Mote of Knockgraft'on.
" Some of the ancient chroniclers assert that Kogan Mor had another
son, beside Fiacha Muilleathan, whose name was Dermod ; and the same
authority informs us that St. Beacan, who consecrated the church of Cill
Beacan in Muskery Cuire, was a descendant from the posterity of that
Dermod. Says an old poet :
" ' The holy Beachan from Diarmuid
Descended, and from the same progenitor
Sprung Oilioll Flanmore, a most renowned prince,
Oiliol Flan Beg, and Deachluath.'
" About this time it was that Breasal, the son of Dermod, King of
Ireland, resolved to invite his father and the principal nobility of his
court to a magnificent entertainment, which he designed to furnish in
the most sumptuous manner at Ceananus in Meath. Among other
dishes for the feast he proposed to have a large piece of beef of exceed-
ing fatness, and, examining his own cattle for this purpose, he foimd
them so lean that they were not fit to be killed, especially upon so public-
an occasion. Vnder this disappointment, he was informed that a reli-
gious woman had a cow that would suit his design. He approached her
to purchase the cow, but she absolutely refused to sell her, and when she
could not be prevailed upon to exchange her for seven cows and a bull
that he offered, Breasal drove her away by violence and killed her for
the entertainment. This poor woman lived at Cill Ealchruidhe.
" The King of Ireland, with his courtiers and his royal retinue, came
to the feast. When they were in the height of their mirth, this injured
woman forced her way into the room, and in the most affecting manner
30 THE Sura FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
complained of Breasal to the King, and, representing the circumstances
of the wrong she had suffered, passionately demanded justice. Derraod
was moved at the violence offered to her, and in a rage vowed he would
revenge the injury, and put his son to death for the fact. Accordingly
he commanded him to be seized, and taken into strict custody. Dragging
him to the river Loch Ruidhe, he ordered him to be drowned, which un-
natural sentence was immediately executed."
So far the story may deserve belief ; but what follows, without doubt,
was foisted in by the credulous writers of those dark ages who were
for heaping miracles upon the backs of their saints which the present
times are not expected to give credit to. But these obscure guides are
the only authority we have to direct us. Therefore we are obliged to
proceed regularly, lest our design should suffer more by omitting these
legendary relations than it possibly can by inserting them in the his-
" The King, having indulged his passion so far as to destroy his
son, in his calmer moments began to lament his loss, and to condemn
himself for the sudden violence of his resentment. He was perfectly
overcome with melancholy, and when he reflected upon his death the
thoughts of it were insupportable.
" In this distracted condition Dermod applied to Collum Gill, who
advised him to go to St. Beacan, who lived in the Province of Munster,
and possibly from the prayers of this holy perso.n he might find relief.
The King followed this advice, and, attended by Collum Gill, came to
the saint, who resided in a m>ean cell upon the north side of Mount
Grott, which at that time was known in the Irish language by the name
of Gill Beacan. When they arrived they found the saint with great
labour digging a ditch to surround his churchyard, and working in his
wet clothes, for it was a rainy day.
" When St. Beacan perceived that it was the King of Ireland he
cried out to him aloud, ' O, murderer, down to the ground upon your
knees!' The King instantly quitted his horse and prostrated himself
before the saint. Collum Gill, who attended upon the King, informed
the holy Beacan of the business they came upon, and told him that the
King was almost distracted with reflecting upon the barbarity of the
act he had committed, and had 1 no relief left him but his prayers that
God would be pleased to pardon him the offence and restore him his son
alive. Therefore he presumed that so religious a person would not re-
THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE S.'iA. 31
fuse to intercede for him, since his life and happiness were so imme-
" The saint was moved with compassion, and addressed himself three
times with great fervency to Heaven for the restoring of the young prince,
and Heaven heard his prayers, for, as the legend relates, the King's son
was brought to life and presented to his father, who received him with in-
expressible joy, and ever after held the saint in great veneration whose
devotion had' power sufficient to work such wonders and accomplish so
miraculous an event."
Outside St. Beacan's tiny church, at its western end. there stands
the base of a large stone cross, upon which remains a short portion of
the shaft. The piece which was broken off lies at a little distance
away. Almost within living memory, a sacriligious young mason, in a
mood of idle daring, smashed the shaft of the cross with his sledge-
hammer. On the next day so goes the story the young man was
dead. There is another story concerning the family of those who re-
moved the upper part of this same cross. They have been followed by
persistent bad luck " through the length and breadth of the world,"
wherever they went, unto this day. There is a tradition that " Pekaun"
used to preach to his converts with his arms extended upon this stone
cross, in likeness of his Redeemer, and that each day, with arms ex-
tended in the same manner, he recited the whole of the Psalter. Cer-
tain it is that the saint's memory lingers, little as there seems for it
to linger round. Children adorn his little ruined church with small
china statues and pictures, and unchristened babes are buried within its
It may well be that St. Beacan loved young people with an ardour
which added urgency to his supplications for the restoration of the
The beauty of this secluded Holy Well, and the neighbourhood of a
hospitable farmhouse, make Tureen and " Pekaun's Well" favourite
spots for summer pic-nics. The railway runs close to it, and also the
main road from Cahir to Tipperary. It is about three miles distant
FROM the knoll upon which stands the broken cross of St. Beacan may be
seen the famous Mote of Knockgraffon. As the Suir winds from
Athassel to Cahir, the green cone of the Mote forms a landmark which
32 THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
attracts the eye by reason of its smooth, pyramidal shape, which pro-
claims it at a glance to be no work of nature.
The Mote is formed of tiers of stones, now covered with green,
mossy turf. It rises about sixty feet above the summit of the com-
manding little hill upon which it was erected, and is sixty feet in dia-
meter at the top. At its base may be traced foundations of an exten-
sive castle, a ruined tower of which remains. Knockgraffon is one of
the finest motes in Ireland, and various accounts have been given of its
origin and age. It has never been explored, and the antiquarian who
dared to brave the " good people," whose domain it has long been re-
garded, would be counted a "hardy" man. Its form suggests a tumulus,
or chambered burial place of a chieftain. It is said that it was the
crowning place of the Munster Kings long before Cahsel, and that
eighteen Minister Kings were born and reared under its shadow. The
modern theory is prosaically inclined to place the construction of this
mote, and others, in feudal or Anglo-Norman times. It regards the
mote as contemporary with the adjoining feudal castle, now in ruins,
which was built by the English about 1192, and to which the mote
served as a " look-out" and fortification.
The popular account of the origin of the mote is familiar wherever
the pleasant pages of Crofton Croker are read. His " Legend of
Knockgraffon" is an Irish minor classic. In this delightful tale we
learn that the grassy mote is nothing else but the hump of a poor little,
weary, hunch-back pedlar, who fell asleep in a Fairies' Ring near Knock-
graffon, met the " good people" and their Queen, righted their tangled
fairy music for them, and, as a reward for so doing, left his hump there
behind him for ever. Similar tales are to be found in the folk-lore of
various nations, even to far Japan. Crofton Croker frankly states
that he chose the Mote of Knockgraffon as the scene of his story for no
better reason than that the story of the pedlar was told to him within
sight of the mote.
There is, however, much good, historical ground for regarding this
mote as of very early origin. The " Book of Rights" refers to " the
House of Rafawn." Geoffrey Keating who lived near the place, ami
doubtless was familiar with it in the sixteenth century writes, in Ms
" History of Eirinn," that it was the fort of Fiacha Mnilleathan ('" the
flat-headed"), King of Munster in the third century. He says: " Fiacha
stayed at Rath Rafonn, which is now called Cnoc Raffon, with his
foster-mother, Raffon," from whom, it would appear, the hill, or fort,
took its name.
THE Sum FROM ITS SOCKCE TO THE SEA.
THE KING'S STONE.
THE reason why Fiacha Muilleathaii needed Rafonn for his foster-
mother is set forth at length in the pages of Geoffrey Keating. His
first name, Fiacha, signifies " news," and he was so called because the
sorrowful news was brought to his mother, Muncha, daughter of Dil da
Chreaga, very soon after her marriage, that her husband, Eogan Mor,
son of the great and wise King of Minister, Oilliol Ollave, had been
slain in battle. His second name Muilleathaii, or " flat-headed"
had reference to the circumstances of his birth, which caused the volun-
tary death of his mother, Muncha. In order to fulfil a prophecy of her
The King's Stone.
father, Dil da Chreaga (who was a Druid), foretelling that the crown of
Ireland should come to her fatherless babe if born under certain condi-
tions, Fiacha's devoted and ambitious mother sacrificed-her own life.
The child was born on a small rock in the midst of the river Suir, which
is there even to this day. It lies in the river-bed, within sight- of the
mote, not far from where Ballydrehid House now stands.
I'pon the death of his eldest son, Eogan the Great, in the battle
of Magh Muchruime, Oilliol Ollave, knowing nothing of Eogan' s mar-
riage, " demised the perpetual government of the province of Minister
after his decease" to his second son, Cormac Cas. " But when he had
intelligence that Fiacha Muilleathan was born, he thought proper to
34 THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
alter his will, and in this manner settled the succession : That his son,
Cormac Cas, after his death, should' wear the crown of Munster during
his natural life, and then that it should devolve to Fiacha Muilleathan,
the son of Eogan Mor ; the sovereignty was then to return to the family
of Cormac Cas, and so the province was to be governed alternately by
the heirs of these two illustrious tribes, without quarrels or disputes.
And the will of Oilliol Ollave was he4d in such veneration by his posterity
that there were no contests between the two families for the crown of
Munster for many ages."
Thus it came that, throughout the later history of Munster, we find
the two great tribes, the Eoganacht and the Dal-Cais, descendants of
Eogan and Cas. Oilliol Ollave's optimism was hardly justified, for
" quarrels and disputes" there were, even to the days of the great High
King Brien, descendant of Cas, but these, probably, improved the
stamina and manliness of Munstermen as a whole.
THE FORD OF KNOCKGRAFFON.
FIACHA met his death near the spot where he was born. One hot day
Fiacha, with his retinue, left his palace at Knockgraft'cn to bathe in the
Suir. He had with him his guest and kinsman, Conla, a prince of
Leinster. Now, Conla had long been afflicted with a disease resembling
leprosy, and a Druid had declared that he could never be cured " unless
he could find means to wash his body all over with the blood of a King."
As a token of their friendship, Fiacha allowed Conla to carry his lance
while he was bathing in the river. While Conla watched his cousin
swimming in the Suir the prediction of the Druid came into his mind.
He basely violated the laws of hospitality and gratitude, and ran the
King through the body with his own spear, intending to plunge into
the blood-red waters. The wound was mortal, and the attendants
rushed upon Conla to avenge their Sovereign, b\it the dying Fiacha laid
his command upon them to save his life and pardon the murderer. His
orders were faithfully obeyed. Conla's life was spared, and the King
was carried on shore, and instantly died.
Among the chiefs who resided near the Mote of Knockgraffon in
somewhat later times was The O'Sullivan, who possessed large territory
in its vicinity. In a famous poem the poet O'Heerin tluis celebrated
" O'Sullivan, who delighted not in violence,
Ruled over the great Eoganacht of Munster.
About Knockgraffon he obtained his lands
After the victory of convicts and battles."
THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 35
The legend of how the Sullivan family came by their name is also
connected with Knockgraffon, and is worth telling here :
An Albanian (that is, British) Druid named Luvaii or Lubhan
visited the King, Eochy, who was then residing at the kingly Mote of
Knockgraffon, during his journeying in Eirinn. The Druid delighted
Eochy with his poetry and his music, and at his departure Eochy de-
sired him to name any reward whatsoever that he desired.
" Your two eyes!" was the answer of the rapacious and malevolent
Xo bard or Druid could ever be refused, and, moreover. Eochy, like
many more in those days, dreaded the poet's satire and barbed mockery
even more than the loss of eye-sight. He tore out his eyes, and flung
them to Luvan.
There was another visitor in the Royal Mote at this time, none other
than the famous St. Ruadhan, Abbot of Lorrha, the same who cursed
Tara in 560 (in the days of King Diarmid, son of Fergus), and caused
it to be desecrated. The Druid's conduct seemed abominable to the
saint. He prayed earnestly that the eyes of Luvan should be trans-
ferred to Eochy instead of those he had lost.
The prayer of the saint was answered. From henceforth Eochy
was known by the nickname of " Suil-Labhan" (that is. " The Eye.s of
When surnames began to be used in Ireland, about the time of King
Brie n, at the close of the tenth century, Buadach Cro, Eochy's grand-
son, assumed his grandfather's nick-name, and handed this name of
Suil-Labhan, or Sullivan, down to his descendants.
The Danes, we know, penetrated for considerable distances into
Ireland, by means of the rivers, in their flat-bottomed boats, which they
carried over the weirs and shallows. It is recorded that, in the tenth
century, the men of Minister fought a great battle with the " proud
invaders" on the banks of the Suir, above Clonmel, and there is a tradi-
tion that Knockgraffon ford was the place where eleven hundred Danes
bit the dust. There is no doubt that these peaceful river banks must
have often re-echoed with " the clangour of conflict" in the days when
the men of Minister gave a good account of themselves to Danish and
to Xorman invaders alike.
" They came with high boasting to bind us as slaves,
But the glen and the torrent have yawned o'er their graves.
From gloomy Ardfinnan to wild Templemore
From the Suir to the Shannon is red with their gore."
THE SCIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
NOT far from Ballycarron and the pleasant Suir, between Bansha and
Cahir, there is a little ruined church, with lonely churchyard, known
as Killardrigh corrupted into Killandriffe or " the Church of the High
King." It is said to have been called after a High King (Ard-Righ)
of Eirinn who met his death while bathing in the waters of the Suir.
The name and legend indicate this lonely little spot as the burying-
place of Fiacha Muilleathan, with whose birth and death the waters of
the Suir \rere so intimately and curiously connected.
Another great leader of men was buried in that remote little church-
yard of the High King in June,' 1910, when General Sir William Butler,
K.C.B., was laid beside his forefathers, with full military honours, after
an honourable and distinguished career. Sir William was a worthy
son of Tipperary, a dauntless soldier and leader, a steadfast patriot, a
brilliant writer, and an upright gentleman. Perhaps the few lines of
verse found among his papers after his death by his wife who is the
famous artist, well known as Miss Elizabeth Thompson disclose the
man most worthily. They are given in the " Autobiography." and are
as follows :
" On the dim tombs of Time I see
The names of men who strove in vain
To lift the load, to break the chain
Then why a better grave for me?
" O Thou, the First, the Last, the Whole,
Thou, who from toil and tears of man
Dost shape on earth Thy mighty plan,
And build while all the ages roll,
" Enough it is for me to know
That all the travail of the years,
The gleamg of hope, the cloud of tears,
Add something to Thy work below."
PAST the reaches of Ballydrehid, the river pursues its course over three
weirs to the pleasant little town of Cahir. The upper wators of the Suir,
above Cahir, are accessible only by rowing boats, which may- be lifted
over these weirs. Charmingly situated residences Cottage, Killemlee,
THE SOB FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
Altavilla, Cahir Abbey House stand on the green banks. There are
enticing woods, clear bathing pools, and favourite haunts for trout and
salmon. In early spring and late summer, tangles of wild flowers and
water-weeds dip their fair faces into the rippling waters. Sheets of
yellow water-lilies sway upon the pools. Upon the banks are hedges
of woodbine and dog-roses, fringes of creamy meadow-sweet and purple
loosestrife. In the fields are yellow groves ot the stubborn, swaying
" boherlan" (rag-weed), which the moonlight turns into troops of fairy
horsemen for those with eyes to see.
The dwellers on these banks love them well. Their charms, so far,
are unexplored by the average tourist.
"The Old Mill Wheel still turns." Cahir. ^PhotolyP. Condon, Cahir.
Cahir is the centre of a rich corn-growing district. Directed by a
large and influential Quaker community, the milling industry brought
prosperity and population to the valley of the Suir in the eighteenth
century, and especially to Cahir, which was known as the " Quaker
Town." In old Protection days mills abounded upon the banks of the
Suir. Many of these are now in ruins, but near Altavilla, among the^
sally trees and the sedges, the river still turns a picturesque old mill-:,
wheel as of old. It now provides the electricity for a flourishing modern
machine bakery in the old mill which supplies a large district. Tlw
milling industry flourishes still in Cahir in spite of foreign competition.
38 THE Sura FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
As of old, .the mills of Going and Smith, Ltd., still grind, and form
centres of activity and employment which serve as unmixed blessings
and sources of prosperity to Cahir now a thriving little town of some
2,000 inhabitants. The largest of these mills stands over against the
fine old Castle of Cahir, and forms a suggestive and striking contrast
between feiulal and modern conditions.
CLOSE to the banks of the Suir stands the ruined Abbey of Our Lady,
now called Cahir Abbey. It is an extensive ruin, with a lofty central
tower seventy feet high. It is not as large as Athassel, but it re-
sembles Athassel in many respects. Cahir Abbey was also an Augus-
tinian foundation, founded, in the reign of King John, by Geoffrey de
Camoell. Few features, and no tombs, of particular interest survive
Cahir Abbey. [Photo by tlie Author.
the hand of Time. The conversion of the central tower into a dwelling-
house, at some post-Reformation period, doubtless obliterated many in-
teresting achitectural features. Portions of another tower remain.
The mullions of the East Window are still perfect, as are the fine nar-
row lancet windows on the side aisle, which recall Athassel. The out-
buildings must have reached the river's edge. The Abbey precincts
are now bounded by a high railway embankment, which carries, the
G.S. and W. Railway bridge over the Suir close by. This embankment
dwarfs the central tower, from which in old days a fine prospect might
be surveyed the river winding through a rich country, with the Galtees,
THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 39
the Knockmealdowns, and the Waterfowl Mountains guarding it like
purple-clad sentinels, and "Lonely Slievenamon" closing the circle. Like
most Irish religious foundations, the history of Cahir Abbey was un-
eventful. Edward Lonergan was its last Prior.
There are graceful modern churches for both Roman Catholics and
Protestants in Cahir. In the middle of the town, off the Square, stands
the ruined old Parish Church. In the middle of the ruin there is a
noticeable curtain wall. It is said that for many years after the Re-
formation Catholics and Protestants worshipped simultaneously in the
old church, divided by that wall. The Butlers, lords of Cahir. clung
to the Old Faith. Nevertheless, they found it prudent to find favour
with the powers in the ascendency. This " combination" parish church
speaks effectively of their position in the seventeenth century.
In the ruins rest the remains of Richard Pennefather, Baron of the
Exchequer, a famous jtidge of his day, who died in 1S59.
CAHIR CASTLE rises on an island in the Suir, and commands the bridge
in the middle of the town. This old ivy-clad Butler stronghold is prob-
ably the best example of late feudal architecture in Ireland. It was
built in the fifteenth, or early in the sixteenth, century, and has re-
mained in the family of its builders ever since. The Butlers ceased to
live in their castle about a hundred and fifty years ago. It has not
been inhabited since a company of infantry was quartered there in the
days of the late Earl of Glengall. (He it was who gave the site for
the present barracks, about a mile outside the town, formerly used for
Cavalry, and now used for Field Artillery). For over a century the
Castle has undergone no structural alteration, but remains an eloquent
witness of the life led long ago in Ireland by a Lord of the Pale.
Centuries before the Butlers built the present Castle centuries
before even Conor O'Brien, Lord of Thomond, founded his Castle there
in 1142 the rock in the Suir upon which it stands was regarded as a
natural point of vantage, to be defended by a " dun," or fort. Its very
name in Irish, Cathair-Duine-Iascadh " the stone stronghold of the
fish-abounding Dun" is a word-history. An old Irish MS. the " Book
of Lecan" records the destruction of this fort of Cathair Cm-reach
in the third century. This is the outline of the romantic story. A re-
lative of Curreach Life was killed by Finn MacRadamain, chief of the
district surrounding Cathair, the modern Cahir. In revenge, Curreach
Life murdered Finn's mistress, Badamair, who had her dwelling on the
40 THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SKA.
Cathair-Duine-Iascadh, whence she supplied Finn with food and cloth-
ing, no doubt of her own catching and weaving. After murdering her,
Cm-reach plundered the fort, and escaped away beyond the river Bannow
towards Waterford. Finn pursued him. After many days he got
sight of Curreach in the distance. Thereupon Finn pronounced an in-
cantation over his spear, and hurled it at Curreach, who was in the.
midst of a group of friends. Nevertheless, the spear found its way
truly to Curreach' s heart and killed him.
The Brelion Laws refer to this fort of Cathair, and Geoffrey Keat-
ing states that, among many other royal residences, Brian Boroimhe
fortified and used this fort of Cathair also.
When the Anglo-Normans came first to Ireland, Knockgraffon, and
not Cahir, was the principal place in the Barony, which passed, about
121."), to one of Henry II. 's Knights, Philip of Worcester. From him
it passed to his nephew,, William, whose great-granddaughter brought
it to the de Berminghams by her marriage with Milo de Bermingham.
In 1332 the Barony reverted to the Crown on William de Bermingham's
attainder. But the English King was little bettered by Cahir. As
has been said already, Bryan O'Brien and his Irish had by 1332 over-
run and re-conquered Tipperary. However, in 1375, the King granted
the Barony to James, Earl of Ormonde, and to Elizabeth, his wife.
James C :lda ("the Foreigner"), a natural son of this Earl, by
Catherine Fitzgerald, daughter of the Earl of Desmond, has generally
been recognised as the founder of the Cahir branch of the Butlers.
Since he or his successor quartered the de Bermingham arms with
his, there was probably also a prudent alliance with the previous owners.
The new Lords of Cahir held an eq \iivocal position. They occupied
the borderland between the two great warring houses of Biitler (Or-
monde) and Fitzgerald (Kildare). Butlers by descent, Fitzgeralds
by marriage and interest, they contrived throughout the Barons' War,
and the fierce struggles of the sixteenth century, to retain their estates
amid the ruin of their confederates. Perhaps the position of their
Castle helped them, for an old record says: " In the mydst of ye ryver
Suyre lyeth an Hand, ye same a natural rock, nnd upon yt a Castle,
which, although yt may not be built with any greate arte, yet is ye
scite such by nature that yt may be said to be inexpungable."
Cahir Castle. has changed little during the centuries. To-day >'t
closely resembles its appearance in 1599, as pictured in the Pacata
Hibernia. At that time Cahir Castle was noted in English history as
THE Sum FROM IDS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
the sole trophy which Queen Elizabeth's favourite, the Earl of Essex,
could wrest from valiant rebels to lay at the feet of his capricious Liege
The clouds were gathering in these latter days of Elizabeth's reign.
" The Queen's enemies, the Queen's subjects, and the Queen's rebels"
all fought between themselves, and against her authority. To
aggravate matters still further, neither religious bitterness nor Spanish
interference was wanting. In 1583, vainly did Elizabeth attaint
Shaun O'Neill and create his nephew (Hugh of tho Bloody Hand) Earl of
Tyrone in the futile hope of attaching him to her government. By
'The Lovely Green Banks of the Suir." Cahir Park.
'Photo by the
Spain's aid, Hugh O'Neill's rebellion grew into the most serious rising
against which England had ever to contend in Ireland. The Lord De-
puty (Morris) died of exhaustion. General Bagenal was defeated and
slain at the Blackwater. Burleigh was dead. The Queen was old and
lonely. Young Essex, the favourite, was eager to prove his devotion.
His enemies at Court were glad to see him sent to that Irish " Coventry"
for Sovereigns' favourites across the Channel. The new title of Lord
Lieutenant was conferred upon the Earl of Essex and, in 1599, he landed
near Dublin with an army of 18,000 men. He found in Ireland the road
to his ruin.
42 THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
Instead of at once attacking O'Neill in the North, those of the Irish
Council who had estates to lose in the South persuaded Essex to lead
his army into Minister. Having been defeated near Maryborough,
Essex marched to Kilkenny, thence to Clonmel, and so on to Cahir.
Reynolds, secretary to the Earl of Essex, describes Cahir as " the
only famous Castle of Ireland which was thought impregnable ; it is the
bulwark for Munster, and a safe retreat for all the agents of Spain and
Rome." The Butlers of Cahir were staunch for Hugh O'Neill. Cahir
Castle, therefore, Essex attacked.
Encouraged by Hugh O'Neill's victories, and expecting reinforce-
ments from Mitchelstown, " those beastes," as the English writer cour-
teously termed the garrison, refused to surrender. Thereupon Essex
put his cannon into position, and began a vigorous siege. Despite wide
breaches in their walls the garrison held out bravely for ten days, until
they found that their expected reinforcements had been cut off. De-
spairing, the garrison attempted to make a sortie and to vacate the
Castle under cover of darkness. It was a desperate endeavour, and was
discovered by the besiegers. Eighty of the garrison were slaughtered,
and the English took the Castle.
Essex re-garrisoned Cahir with English troops, left his wounded
there, and went on to Clonmel. It was his first success, and his last,
In spite of this armed resistance, the Lord of Cahir managed to keep
his Castle and lands from confiscation. This was through the influence
of the head of the Butlers, Thomas, Earl of Ormonde, called " the
Queen's Black Husband" from his colouring and his Sovereign's marked
D\iring the Cromwellian Wars and, later, during the Revolution,
the luck of the Butlers of Cahir held. The Baron of Cahir was a minor
during the wars of 1641-50, his guardian being George Mathew, a half-
brother of the Earl of Ormonde. In, 1647, previous to the coming to
Ireland of Cromwell in person, Lord Indhiquin " Morrough of the Burn-
ings" who was then fighting on the side of the Parliamentarians, in-
vested Cahir Castle. The siege was one of hours only. The Castle
was promptly handed over to Inchiquin, and a flimsy story put about
to shelter Mathew's cowardice or was it his prudence?
Cromwell himself appeared before Cahir Castle on February 24,
1650, and again George Mathew surrendered without a shot having lu-cn
THE SCIR FROM ITS SorRCE TO THE SEA. 43
fired. One of the conditions of surrender was that: "The Governor
jnay enjoy his estate, which he has as his jointure, and the wardship of
the heir of Cahir."
Although the Butler estates were* surveyed by Petty during the
Commonwealth for that object, they were not actually allotted to soldiers
or adventurers, and at the Restoration, in 16(52, Ormonde had little dif-
ficulty in reinstating his kinsman, " the heir of Cahir."
The Butler luck or prudence held also during the Revolution.
Thomas, seventh Baron Cahir, fought for James II. on the bloody and
disastrous field of Aughrim, and was outlawed in 1691. But, two years
later, his outlawry was reversed and his estates restored. Being known
Late Autumn. Cahir Park.
as strong Catholics, with Jacobite leanings, the Lords of Cahir lived
abroad during the eighteenth century.
By the death of Pierce, eleventh Baron, in 1788, the old Butler line
became extinct. But a claimant appeared in the person of Richard
Butler of Ulengall, who derived his descent from Sir Theobald Butler,
Baron of Cahir in the time of Elizabeth. Richard Butler was mar-
tied to a niece of Lord Chancellor Clare, and, as L'gal difficulties were
thus smoothed over, he succeeded as twelfth Baron Cahir. He was af-
terwards created first Earl of Glengall. His son, the second Earl, died
44 THE Sura FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
in 1858 without a male heir. The Barony of Cahir fell into abeyance
again, and the Earldom became extinct.
The present representative of the Butlers of Cahir is the last Earl
of Glengall's daughter, the Lady Margaret Charteris, to whom belongs
the beautiful park through which the Suir runs for over two miles, to-
gether with many acres of surrounding mountain and valley.
Cahir Castle is in excellent preservation. It still serves for Flower
Shows and other gatherings. The Butlers migrated, first, to Cahir
House a Georgian mansion, overlooking the Market Square on one side,
and the lovely demesne upon the other and, later, to the Lodge, on the
opposite bank of the Suir.
The Suir from Railway Bridge, Cahir. ri>t<, In, 1'. Condon, Cahir.
" THE lovely green banks of the Suir" are nowhere lovelier, or greener,
than in Cahir Park. Its beauties need to be seen to be realised to the
full. Happily the Park is open to pedestrians; private carriages and
anglers may obtain access by permits, to be obtained at the Estate
Offices in Castle street. It is a question whether Cahir Park is more
beautiful on a hot summer's day, when the cattle stand knee-deep in
the broad, clear river, and when trees and pastures wear their richest
dress of " living green," or in late autumn, when the scarlet coats of
huntsmen, and the dappled white, black, and tan of fox-hounds appear
THE Sum FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 45
and disappear through groves of golden oaks and copices carpeted with
yellow bracken in which laurels keep their summer livery.
In places the hanks become almost precipitous, and a graceful bridge
spans the river at Kilcommoh, by which the picturesque thatched Cot-
tage built for a tea-house, and once a favourite rendezvous is
G A UN A VILLA.
HAVING flowed through the beautiful demesne of the Butlers', the Suir
passes Garnavilla, now a modernised residence, once famous as the,
dwelling-place of " Lovely Kate of Garnavilla," of whom the poet, Ed-
ward Lysaght, sang in the eighteenth century :
" Have you been at Garnavilla ?
Have you seen at Garnavilla
Beauty's train trip o'er the plain
With lovely Kate of Garnavilla : J
" O she's pure as virgin snows
Ere they light on woodland hill, O;
Sweet as dew-drop on wild rose
Is lovely Kate of Garnavilla.
" As a noble ship I've seen
Sailing o'er the swelling billow,
So I've marked the graceful mien
Of lovely Kate of Garnavilla.
" If poets' prayers can banish cares,
Xo cares shall come to Garnavilla ;
Joy's bright rays shall gild her days,
And dove-like peace perch on her pillow.
Charming maid of Garnavilla !
Lovely maid of Garnavilla !
Beauty, grace, and virtue wait
On lovely Kate of Garnavilla."
The name of Garnavilla comes from the Irish Garran-a'-Bhile (" the
shrubbery of the bile," or old tree).
Garnavilla itself was made the subject of some charming lines com-
posed by the Rev. William Archer Butler, Professor of Moral Philosophy
of Trinity College, Dublin. He was an accomplished scholar and critic
of his day, .being born at Annerville, near Clonmel, in 1814. His early
childhood and boyhood were spent at Garnavilla for many years the
46 THE Sum FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
residence of members of his family and constant allusions to the home
of his youth are scattered through his poetry. One sonnet runs as fol-
" Groves of my childhood ! Sunny fields that gleam
With pensive lustre rourtd m even now!
River, whose unforgotten waters stream
Bright, pure as ever, from the rifted brow
Of hills whose fadeless beauty, like a dream,
Bursts back upon my weeping memory how
Hath time increased your loveliness, and given
To earth, and earth's, a radiance caught from heaven !
My soul is glad in floating up the tide
Of years ; in counting o'er the withered leaves
That Time hath strewn upon the path of Pride :
Yes, glad ; most glad : and yet the feeling grieves,
With peace and pain mysteriously allied,
That sway and swell my breast, like ocean's stilly waves."
Ox its way to the village of Ardfinnan, the Suir passes Ballybrado and
Rochestown. At Roche&iowii there are some ruined ecclesiastical re-
mains. Close to Rochestown there is the ford which was crossed by
the Lord Protector Cromwell on the dark and tempestuous night in
February, 1650, during which he took Fethard.
The account of that night, as given in a news pamphlet of that
date, " The Irish Mercury," is sufficiently amusing to be worth
" From Rahill [now Reliill, the Castle at which place fell into
Cromwell's hands without a struggle] his Excellency went on to Roaches-
town, where he got over the river Shu re in such a nick of time that the
least protraction had metamorphosed that ford into a ferry. In a
hideous tempest he came late before the town of Fethard, where the
Governor, little dreaming of any storm but that of weather, was sum-
moned by his Excellency. The gentleman at first thought it had been
in jesit, but, the Corporation swearing and trembling 'twas in earnest,
he concluded from the last, as much as from the first, that it was so,
and, by the same action, evidencing he was of the same faith, like one
well versed in his trade, called a council of the shakers to know whether
it was consonant with the rules of war to summon a town by candle-
light. After a small debate they concluded that whether it was or
THE Sura FROM ITS SOCRCE TO THE SEA.
no (for the thing was left amphibious) it was consonant with the rules
of safety to surrender the place, which he did, modestly saying that he
lost his government in a storm^ and not tamely, as other governors had
done, and that, by this condition he had satisfied his engagement to the
Supreme Council, which was that none of them should see the day in
which he should lose Fethard ; no, nor the sun neither, though it shine
on all the world but Wood street.
" We were more troubled to come to, than to come by, this town,
.which my Lord Lieutenant entered by the same light in which he had
summoned it, the governor entertaining him with a file of healths.
But, sure, his Excellency had so much care of his own that he did not
drink it, so that his modesty or circumspection lessened him of one
cup, but had he drunk of another he had wanted the latter."
It is interesting to contrast with this reporter's account Cromwell's
" We shot not a shot at them, but they were very angry, and fired
very earnestly upon us, telling us that it was not the time of night to
send a summons. But yet, in the end, the governor was willing to send
out two commissioners, I think rather to see whether there was force
sufficient to force him than to any other end. After almost the whole
night spent in treaty the town was delivered up to me the next morning,
upon terms which we usually call honourable, which I was the willinger
to give because I had little above 200 foot, and neither ladders, guns,
nor anything else to force them."
A few months after this Cromwell laid siege to Clonmel. But his
reception in Clonmel was very different to that of Fethard, and is a
gallant story which shall be told in its place.
Ix the sixth century an Irish saint, who was a leper, chose for his
anchorite's cell the steep cliffs which overlook the Suir where it bends
sharply, beyond Rochestown, about four miles south-east of Cahir. The
name of the spot was then Druim-abr-a. The saint was the son of
Connal O'Carroll and descended from the Minister Kings. His name
was Finnian, and the place where he founded the monastery for Canons
Regular of the Order of St. Augustine has been known ever since as
Ardfinnian "the height of Finnian." Xo trace of that monastery
now remains, but tradition says it stood near the present Protestant
Church. It was this Finnian who built the Abbev of Inisfallen and
48 THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
who was connected with the Abbeys of Swords, and Clonmore. He
was not the St. Finaii of Clonard, the teacher of St. Ruadan, and of the
Cormac Mac Cullinan of Cashel, Bishop and King, willed to this
Abbey at Ardfinnan " one ounce of gold, and one of silver, with his
horses and arms." He died in battle in 908. The death of Giola,
Prior of Ardfinnan, is recorded in 1085.
The river runs through an amphitheatre of hills which command
wide views of the surrounding country. Nature has indicated this
spot as a point of vantage, and upon the hill opposite that upon which
the monastery is said to have stood is a fine rath, or " fort." The
" fort" is now peopled, by the creative fancy of some, with lively
" Clurig-a-dhauns," or sportive elves, with whom it is undesirable to
Ardfinnan was the scene of a great battle in 1150 between the King
of Munster and an O'Conor who claimed the High Kingship of Ireland.
The town and Abbey were plundered and burnt by the Anglo-Xormans
After Strongbow's day, Henry II. sent his youngest and favourite
son, John, then about sixteen years old, to assume the chief government
of his newly acquired realm. The Lordship of Ireland hardly removed
from the young prince the reproach conveyed by his nick-name of " Lack-
Land." Prince John arrived in his new domains in 1185. He kept
his court in Dublin with reckless and luxurious extravagance, and suc-
ceeded in estranging the Irish chiefs, as well as all older and graver men.
It became known that the Irish and their chiefs were arming. John
and his courtiers talked loud, and did nothing. At last the Prince
proceeded South and, on his line of march, he erected three castles
Tybroughney (which may still be seen from the Suir, two miles from
Fiddown), from which he dated some of his Charters ; Ardfinnan and
Lismore. John, observing the importance of Ardfinnan, which com-
manded one of the chief passes into the counties of Waterford and Cork,
took up his abode here, and for two years watched the building of the
fortress. The Irish declared that these fortresses were built solely to
serve as starting-points for the plunder of Munster. Accordingly hey
attacked Lismore and Ardfinnan. Lismore was taken by surprise and
its governor, Robert de Barri one of the first of the English to land
in Ireland was slain, with his whole garrison. Donald O'Brien, who
claimed to be King of Munster, with O'Conor and McCarthy, tlion
THE SUIH FROM ITS SOUUCE TO THE SEA. 49
marched against Ardfinnan. The meeting took place to the left of the
Suir, opposite the Castle. But such was the commanding position above
the river that O'Brien was unable to take it by force. Therefore he
feigned flight, and allowed the small garrison to issue forth and pursue
him. Then, turning and surrounding them, he put them to the sword.
Four Knights were slain in the encounter. John soon after returned
to England, leaving John de Courcy at Ardfinnan. A little above the
Castle, on the opposite side of the river, there is a place called " Augh-
na-fulleagh" (or " the Bloody Ford"), possibly the site of this great
The Castle was won back, subsequently, by the English, and was
afterwards granted to the Knights Templars, and the round tower was
one of their Preceptories. The Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, the
Hospitallers, succeeded the Templars, after the obliteration of their
Order, already alluded to, in 1312. Ardfinnan Castle \\as counted among
the strongest in Ireland, and the town had a municipal corporation.
In the days of the Commonwealth, General Ireton planted his guns
upon the opposite hills, and bombarded the Castle with such vigour that
a great breach of eighteen feet was made in the walls, and the Castle
fell an easy prey to the besiegers. This is the contemporary account :
" The Major-General [Ireton] was very desirous to gain a pass over
the Suir, where, indeed, we had none but by boat, or when the weather
served; wherefore, on Saturday in the evening [February, 1650] we
marched from Cashel, with a party of horse and foot, to Ardfinnan,
where was a bridge, and, at the foot of it, a strong Castle, which he,
about four o'clock in the morning, attempted ; killed about sixteen of the
e-nemy's out-guard, lost but two men, and eight or ten wounded. The
enemy yielded the place to him, and we are possessed of it, being a very
considerable pass and the nearest to our pass at Cappoquin, whither we
can bring guns, ammunition, and other things from Youghal by water,
and then, over this pass, to the army."
The Castle at the present time is in good preservation, being in-
habited by the Prendergast family. Two of the four towers still stand
upon their rocky foundations, and rise picturesquely above the Suir.
The Suir is crossed at Ardfinnan by a very long and graceful bridge
of fourteen arches, which carries the road from Cork to Clonmel. Under
these arches, which are dry except in the flood times of the Suir, fever-
stricken creatures in the days of the Great Famine sought shelter, and,
strange to say, although unattended, and relieved only by a secret
50 THE SHIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
charity which dreaded contact with the epidemic, every individual re-
Beside the bridge to-day may be seen the flourishing woollen factory
of the Messrs. Mulcahy, which turns out the well-known Ardfinnan
tweeds, rugs, and motor fabrics. The hum of whirling wheels, and the
glimpses of long hanks of dyed yarn drying in the sun, make pleasant
soxmds and sights for those with Ireland's industrial development at
heart. For all that, the factory chimneys rise somewhat incongruously
in the picture of the old Norman stronghold which rises among the trees
on " the Heights of Finnian."
The village straggles on both sides of the bridge. A wide village,
green stretches by the edge of the river, and lends a characteristic charm
to the landscape. In the hard old days in 1827 five men were pub-
licly hanged upon this now verdant and deserted stretch of sward, which
in former times belonged, curiously enough, to the Corporation of Clon-
T'rox the heights opposite Ardfinnan Castle, about a mile from the
river, a by-road loads to a lovely rnin known as Lady Abbey. The ruin
is lonely and neglected, and its history is veiled in obscurity or oblivion.
Ivy smothers the remaining walls and twines round the graceful win-
dows, which date the building to the twelfth century, the design, as a
whole, suggesting Benedictine or Carmelite origin. Possibly Lady Abbey
was a dependency of Innislonagh Abbey. The Abtey and lands were
granted to the Duke of York and Bishop of Waterford at the Reforma-
The ruins of Lady Abbey will repay" a visit were it only for their
position, encircled by mountains. The sweep of the Knockmealdowns,
Galtees, Commeraghs, and Slievenenamon well rewards those who leave
the kigh road to puzzle out the story of this graceful ruin.
The little village of Newcastle or Newcastle-Prendergast, as it is
often called lies on the right bank of the Suir, about seven miles south-
west of Clonmel. On one side tower the purple heights of the Knock-
mealdowns ; on the other, in the distance, slope the Commeraghs. Near
the river are the ruins of the Augustinian Abbeys of ^lullogh and New-
castle, founded and endowed by the Prendergasts, wluM-t- now -the an-
THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 51
cestors of that family lie buried. Their ancient fortress is close at hand,
but now ruinous. There is a story that once the monks of Newcastle
offended one of their patrons, and, in retaliation, he set fire to the
Abbey. Some of the monks lost their lives, and the break-up of the
Prendergast family ensued. They, however, survived sufficiently to give
a good account of themselves under Marlborough, as one old tombstone,
dated 1710, records. The family are descended from Strongbow's knight,
Maurice de Prendergast, honourably remembered in Irish history as
" The Faithful Xorman."
FROM Ardfinnan to Clonmel the coiirse of the Suir grows in beauty with
each onward mile. The silver stream flows by fertile meadows and
sloping woods and charmingly placed residences. The demesnes and
plantations of Kilmanahan and of Knqcklofty ihe beautiful seat of the
Earl of Dononghmore afford endless variety of charming river and
THE pretty village of Marlfield clusters round the beautiful demesne and
home of Richard Bagwell, Esq., D.L., well-known as a historian and
politician. In the homes of the villagers are executed the charming
" Marlfield embroideries," Avhich owe their origin to the initiative and
taste* of Mrs. Bagwell, who is ever eager and active in all schemes for
the betterment and benefit of the people of the whole neighbourhood.
Marlfield is the modern and prosaic appellation of the old townland
of Innislonagh, the name of which in Irish signifies " the Island of the
Xew (or Sweet) Milk " probably because it was good grazing land by
THE ruins of Innislonagh Abbey are now enclosed in the churchyard of
the Protestant Church of Marlfield. The Abbey of the Island of the
Sweet Milk is frequently alluded to in old charters and surveys, but little
history of interest is connected with it. This peaceful uneventfulness
speaks well for its rule, for good deeds and duty done are seldom re-
corded, whereas the misdeeds of James Butler, the last Abbot, being
unusual, emerge and obtain notice. The Abbey is said to have been
founded by St. Malachy in the twelfth century. Donald Mor O'Brien,
King of Munster who fringed the Suir with holy houses re-established
52 THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
it in 1187, a little later than he re-established Holy Cross. He seems
to have colonized it from Furness, in Lancashire.
About 1465 the Abbot of Innislonagh desired to unite the two
powerful and ever-warring Houses of Butler and Ormonde. It is said
that the Earl of Desmond and the Earl of Ormonde of that time met in
the Abbey of Innislonagh, drew up their armed hosts v.-ithin the pre-
cincts, and, through the Abbot's intercession, consented at last to " join
in love." The pledge was solemnly given, and bound by a sacred oath
that never again would a feeling of hatred or ill-will towards each other
enter their hearts. The vow was strangely fulfilled. The same evening
the Earl of Desmond left with his retinue for one of his strongholds on
the borders of Co. Cork. When crossing the ford at Ardfinnan there
was no bridge in those days the Earl was drowned, and only his dead
body reached his feiidal castle for its burial at Yov.ghal.
ST. PATRICK'S WELL.
HALF a mile from Innislonagh Abbey, in a sheltered glen of much sylvan
beauty, there are a very old, small Celtic cross, a tiny ruined chapel, and
a holy well, famous as St. Patrick's Well.
The little church, 42 feet long and 17 feet broad, is over three hundred
years old. After the Reformation, the Catholics of Abbey parish wor-
shipped in it up to the end of the seventeenth century. To this little
church was removed the memorial altar-tomb of the White family, which
was originally erected in St. Mary's, Clonmel, in 1623, to the memory
of Nicholas White and his relatives. From .their crest and motto it
would appear that the Whites wore the White Rose and adhered to the
House of York through the Wars of the Roses in the fifteenth century.
A glimpse of this glen and of the tiny ruin may be caught from the
left side of the railway train as it runs from Clonmel to Cahir. The
Great Southern and Western main line follows the course of the Suir
(except that part of it which runs through Cahir Park) from Water-
ford to Knockgraffon.
St. Patrick's Well has long been a popular place of pilgrimage. It
lias been celebrated for many wonderful cures effected by the Maters
which bubble, clear and sparkling, from the ground into a deep circular
pool at the foot of an old tree. It has been beautifully said of such
Holy Wells that :
" The Scripture of creation holds no fairer type than they
That an immortal spirit can be linked witli human clay."
THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THK SKA. 53
The name of the great Apostle of Ireland has always been associated
with this particular Holy Well, although no definite record of his visit
to the spot is to T)e found. It is well known, however, that although
Tipperary was the special province of St. Ailbe of Kmly, who was pre-
viously established in it, St. Patrick laboured there at one time during
his many journey ings. We know that, after his visit to Cashel and the
baptism of JEngus, St. Patrick journeyed to Northern Deisi the coun-
try, that is, which lies between the Knockmealdowns and the Galtees.
There is a curious record of the difficulties of that journey into Northern
Deisi. It in said that then " Patrick cursed the streams of that place,
because his books had been drowned in them and the fishermen refused
to give him fish." The streams, it would seem, were the Tar and the
Nar, tributaries of the Suir. For all that the Tar and the Nar ran
through fruitful country, St. Patrick prophesied that there should be
" no mills on those streams," but that " the mills of the foreigners
would be nigh them." He then " blessed the Suir and its banks, and
the river is fruitful, except where the other streams enter it." Som
centuries later the prophecy was fulfilled, when " the mills of the
foreigners" the Danes were established at Clonmel and at Water-
ford. It is likely enough that in these journeyings St. Patrick mar
have crossed the Suir at Ardfinnan and travelled on to Clonmel. It
may well have been that the saint found rest, after his toilsome pro-
gress over the rough country between the Knockmealdowns and the
Suir, in this sweet and sheltered glen by the river. Doubtless h
preached there and baptised, and then blessed the well.
It may be interesting to quote here Professor Kuno Meyer's literal
translation of " Patrick's Blessing upon Minister." It is taken from
the " Tripartite Life of St. Patrick" :
" God's blessing upon Munster,
Men, women, children!
A blessing on the land
Which gives them fruit !
" A blessing on every wealth
Which is brought .-forth, on their marches!
No one to be in waiyt. of help :
God's blessing upon Munster.
54 THE Sura FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
" A blessing on their peaks,
On their bare flag-stones,
A blessing on their glens,
A blessing on their ridges.
" Like sand of seaiincler ships
Be the number of their hearths
On stopes, on plains,
On mountain-sides, on peaks."
The two miles between Innislonagh and Clonmel abound with rivet--
pictures which linger in the memory. The delightful gardens of Marl-
field slope down to the waters of the Suir. The wooded hills slope up
from the river, on the Waterford side, darkly beautiful. The Suir has
inspired many verses since Edmund Spenser wrote, both humble and high-
sounding, for it is a river that winds itself through many hearts, both
near its banks and far across the ocean.
" The Gentle Suir," " Sweet Clonmel," " Rare Clonmel," " Lonely
Slievenamon" these words strike chords of memory in the hearts of the
scattered sons and daughters of Tipperary. The town of Clonmel, in
particular, seems to exercise a peculiar, and lasting, hold over the
affections of its townspeople at home and, more especially, abroad.
There is little doubt that this fact is, in a large measiire, owing to the
river. To the Suir belong the youthful associations of sport fishine.
boating, swimming for all forms of which Clonmel has long Veen
" That place so dear to all our hearts
I mean St. Patrick's Well-
Its church and tree in dreams I'll see
When far from ' Bare Clonmel' ;
"Its mountain walks, each grove and dell,
The Spa, with waters pure,
The dear old Rock and crystal well
Kissed by the silvery Suir ;
There's Xewtown Aimer, Marlfield,
Minella and Rag W T ell
Oh ! where on earth can you find a spot
To compare with our Clonmel?"
THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
" SWEET CLONMEL" seems to have deserved its name even before
Spenser's day. When the Tuatha de Danaans came to Ireland and
drove before them the earlier settlers, the Firbolgs, they halted in this
pleasant valley by the river Suir, guided to the spot by a swarm of bees.
They raised there a circular fort, or " baile," and named the place
" Cluain Mealla" (" The Field of Honey").
The West Gate, C lor, me 1 .
In the third century the great Olliol Ollave, King of Minister, con-
ferred upon the chieftain jEngus a settlement " from the Suir to the
sea." When, later, the Danish pirates landed at the mouth of the
Suir, and by degrees made their marauding way up the river, they,
doubtless, found a considerable community established at Clonmel.
Probably they met with a good resistance there, for the Danes have not
left their mark upon the more inland town of Clonmel in any degree
THE Sum FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
corresponding to their impress upon Port Lairge, which they named
after Odin, " Vater-Fiord" (" The Fiord of the Father").
Little is recorded about Clonmel until after the English connection.
A. Franciscan Friary which has been re-built in later times upon the old
site was founded there in 1269, and with it ths name of the English
Knight Otto de Grandison is connected. In 1300 Edward II. sanctioned a
" murage grant" for seven years, which authorised a toll upon all mer-
chandise sold within the borough, such tolls to be used for the erection
of walls, ramparts, and other fortifications round the town of Clonmel.
Traces of these walls remain to-day. The " West Gate" is still the
principal entrance to the town from the west. It is the only one of
Cld Quay and Bridge, Clonmel.
the four gates which remains. Outside it lies the Irishtown, relic of
the penal days. The largest remaining portion of the old walls is to
be seen in the churchyard of St. Mary's (Protestant) Church.
The walled town of Clonmel was besieged by Garret Mor, the " Great
Earl" of Kildare, in 1516. He marched into the territory of his heredi-
tary rivals, the Butlers, in all the pomp of his position of Lord Deputy,
Henry VII. having recently ordained that he should " rule all Ireland."
After some resistance, " the town was yielded up unto him by the In-
habitants, and hence he returned Home, with certain Hostages and
Prisoners, and was received by his friends with great joy ; the rest be-
took themselves in safety to their own homes."
THE SuiR FKOM ITS SOUKCE TO THE SEA.
The siege- of Clonmel-in 1650 was a much more important one. Its
importance in Irish history is second only to the sieges of Limerick and
Londonderry. For no other Irish victory if, indeed, victory it could
he called had Cromwell to pay so dearly. The Mayor of C'lonmel, John
White, and the citizens were loyal to the monarchy, and applied to the
Earl of Ormonde, then commanding the Royalist troops in Ireland, for
soldiers to defend the town. Ormonde sent l,oUO foot-rne.ii of the army
of Owen Roe O'Neill, under the command of Owen's nephew, Hugh
Dubh O'Neill. " Black Hugh" and his I'lstermen, together with th
townspeople, held the town against Oliver Cromwell, in person, and his
St. Mary's Church, Clontiel.
"Traces of Twelfth Century Work remain. 1
veteran Ironsides, for nearly two months, and won from the grim Pro-
tector a tribute of grudging admiration. Cromwell, indeed, was aboiit
to raise the siege when he noticed something shining in the grass. He
picked it up, and found it to be a silver bullet. This suggested to him
that the garrison were without ammunition. He decided to try what
hunger would do where force and steel had failed. But the starving
defenders still held out, although plague now added its horrors to those
of famine. A gallant sortie upon May 9th left the Ironsides beaten and
even Cromwell discouraged. But the defenders had shot their last
bullet and spent their last flask of powder.
THE Sum FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
Then Hugh Dubh went to John White. " Go now," he said, " and
offer to surrender. Cromwell has been beaten. He does not know
that we have shot our last round. He will give you good terms, hut he
will show no mercy to us. First you must let me and my Ulstermen
march out secretly at midnight. When we have had a fair start, go and
surrender to him."
Poultrealagh Bridge. Clonme 1 .
1'hoto hi/tin- Author.
The siege had cost Cromwell over 2,000 of his men. He readily
granted Mayor White's conditions. " Does O'Neill know of this?" he
asked suddenly having signed the treaty pen in hand. Then when
he knew that Black Hugh and his men had escaped into County Water-
ford he would have torn up the treaty in his rage. But Mayor White
reminded him of his reputation for keeping his word, good or bad. Then
Cromwell declared: " They have fought well for their town, and I will
keep my word!" Although no town had punished his troops so severely,
he spared the citizens. This was his last military work in Ireland. On
May 29th, 1650, ho embarked at Youghal for England.
THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 59
Clonmel remained in the hands of the Parliamentary Party, with
Colonel Sankey for Governor, until the Restoration of Charles II. in 1660.
It was held for King James II. in 1690, but after the Battle of the Boyne
it was surrendered to King William. Its subsequent history until
1848 is merely of local interest.
In 1848 Clonmel was the scene of the famous trials for high treason
of the " Young Irelanders" and their leader. William Smith O'Brien.
Smith O'Brien, Meagher "of the Sword," Mac-Maims, and O'Donohue
were convicted and transported to Australia. After some years William
Smith O'Brien was pardoned, and all that is mortal of that noble-minded
The Suir from Suir Island, Clonmel. \Plw1o by the Author
and unfortunate gentleman sleeps in Irish earth, not far from the Suir,
in the Province of his royal ancestors, and in the land of his dovotion.
The statue 1 of an Irish peasant warrior, which was erected in front
of the Town Hall, in 1904, in honour and memory of " the men of '98,"
has reference to the earlier, and more formidable, Rebellion in pre-Union
Laurence Sterne was born in Clonmel on November 24th, 1713. ' At
Knockbrit, near Clonmel, was born the girl known in after years as " the
most gorgeous Lady Blessington,"
" Whom Laurence painted and whom Byron sung."
Much of her girlhood she married at sixteen was spent in Clonmel.
THK Sum FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
Although born in Italy, Clonmel was for many years the home of
Charles Bianconi, who first came there as a pedlar and rose to be one of
Clonmel's first Roman Catholic Mayors. Bianconi's name became
famous throughout Ireland as the originator of " Bianconi's cars."
These cars carried mails and passengers throughout Ireland before the
advent of railways, and were celebrated in those days for their excellence-
and despatch. The first of these cars ran from Clonmel to Cahir and
back on July 5th, 1815..
"Like a long sabre at a warrior's hip."
The visitor to Clonmel should not fail to spend some time in examin-
ing the interesting Protestant Church of St. Mary. Although re-built
in the archa?ologically dark and architecturally painful ages about 1857,
traces of twelfth century work remain. The east window is remarkable
for its particularly beautiful tracery. There are also three handsome
Roman Catholic churches, one of which the Friary is built upon the
old foundation desecrated by Cromwell's soldiery, and contains the fine
tomb of James Galda Butler, the progenitor of the Cahir Butlers.
There are many other interesting things to be seen in Clonn.el, from
the Corporation plate and regalia to the splendid Horse Show ground,
where the most successful Horse Show of the South of Ireland is held
each August. Since January, 1912, Clonmel possesses an attractive
golf links, near the town, in addition to the private links
of the Earl of Donoughmore, at Knocklofty. But the prin-
cipal attraction of Clonmel must ever be the river. " The
The Friary is built on the old foundation."
THE SVIR FKOM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 61
town," wrote Richard Dowling many years ago. " had at
its side a bright, clear river, which often in my imaginative youth
seemed to me like a long sabre at a warrior's hip, for my town had been
famous in old days for high spirit and heroic deeds." That " long
sabre" flashes still in the mind's eye of many a Clonmel man in the New
World. He recalls " the view from the Old Bridge, when the moon
was high," or from the Convent Bridge at sunset. He remembers Gra-
vel Island and the Xewbolds, " where the Clonmel schoolboys make their
first attempt at swimming," the Boatliouse and the bathing place beside
it, the Islands, the Old Bridge Weir, the Queen's (Jap, Lady Blessing-
ton's Bath, " the sally tre?s kissing the water," and the trees fringing
the banks. It is the river that gives to Clonmel its unique and enduring
fascination, and gives to this part of " the Golden Vein" its beauty and
From Clonmel the Suir flows on by many a mill until, " at the foot
of Slievenamon," it is joined by the Aimer. This little river gives its
name to Xewtown Anner.
Xewtown Anner is the home of the Duchess of St. Albans, inherited
from her father, Ralph Bernal-Osborne, once a famous wit in the House
Not far from Xewtown a bridge of five arches, known as " Sir
Thomas's Bridge," spans the Suir. It was built by Sir Thomas Osborne
to connect his property in Co. Waterford with Xewtown Anner, but was
granted by him as a public highway without expense to the county early
in the last century.
The river is, perhaps, here at its loveliest. It runs through a valley
formed by the purple slopes of Slievenamon upon the north, and upon
the south by the wooded, out-lying spurs of the Commeragh Mountains.
Through their gaps and green ravines, which run down to the very river's
edge, glimpses may be caught of the loftier " Recks" beyond. In their
heart is hidden the weird and lonely lake of Coumshinaun, whose chilly
waves are unfathomed, and are immured from the sun by rocks 1,400 feet
" The Mountain of thj Fair AVomen," standing in splendid and soli-
THE Sum FKOM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
tary state, dominates the valley of the Suir from Clonmel to Waterford.
Since the days when
Finn and Oscar
Followed the chase in Sliabh-na-mhan-Feimbean
With three thousand Fenian Chiefs,
E'er the sun looked out of his circle,
the great mountain has been celebrated in song and story. It takes its
name from the old tale of how the great hero Finn chose him a wife. Ho
caused the fairest women of Minister to assemble at the foot of the
The Hcusa at the Weir"-Tickincor.
mountain and to race to the top, promising to make the winner his bride.
But Finn desired, above all the others, Grana, the daughter of the King,
Cormac. To her he showed a short and easy ascent unknown to the
rest. When, by means of Finn's short-cut, Grana easily out-distanced
her toiling competitors, the hero chose her before them all for his wife.
It is said that during Oliver Cromwell's march through Minister the
Protector's progress led him across the shoulder of Slievenamon. The
men began to show signs of discontent at the hardships and difficulties
of the march. Suddenly the glorious prospect, which included the most
THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 63
beautiful portions of Soiith Tipperary, burst into view. It was an in-
spiration to the old campaigner. He shouted to his nagging soldiers
the now familiar words: " This is a country worth fighting for!"
The words have since been the battle-cry of those whom even
Cromwell could not completely crush. Since Cromwell's day, and since
the great days of Finn and Oscar, the slopes and fastnesses of " the
Mountain of the Fair Women of Eirinn" have proved as " sheltering
breasts to the orphans of liberty" in the by-gone dark days of distur-
bance and rebellion.
About three miles from Clonmel, close to the river, rise the towers
of " The House at the Weir" (in Gaelic, Teagh-an-Corr), now known
as Tickincor Castle.
TICKINCOR CASTLE was evidently once a fortress of importance. Until
a couple of hundred years ago, this beautifully situated tower-house was
the home of the Osborne family. It was last inhabited by Sir John
Osborne, who died in 1743. Close to Tickincor is the fragment of another
similar ruin, Derrinlaur Castle.
DE RRINLAU R CASTLE.
OLD records describe Derrinlaur Castle as " seated on the Shure." It
was the Cahir Butlers who placed it in its commanding position on the
river, the most important means of communication between their ter-
ritory and the sea. Its name suggests that it was built in " the midst
of the oak woods," but these have now totally disappeared. The Fitz-
geralds of Desmond assailed Derrinlaur in 1574. Essex took it, just
before he took Cahir Castle,, in 1599. But, like Cahir, Derrinlaur soon
reverted from the Queen to its former Butler owners. It must, how-
ever, have been dismantled before Cromwell's days. Although he re-
cords the capture of Poulakerry Castle the ruins of which remain, two
miles further east of Clonmel, on the north side of the river and also
another of lesser importance, he makes no mention of Derrinlaur.
SOME miles further on, the tower of Gurteen-le-Poer, the residence of
Count de le Poer, rises from among the famous woods at the foot of the
hills. The name signifies " the little tilled field." Gurteen was at
one time the home of Richard Lalor Shell. Count de la Poer, the pre-
sent owner, has greatly improved and beautified Gurteen and the
THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
neighbourhood, wherever the hand of man could supplement the handi-
work of Nature. Deer dot the green lawns, and cattle stand knee-deep
in the broad and gentle river. Brush, rather than pen, should portray
the dells and ravines of the Gurteen woods, which clothe the hills from
river bank to summit, each possessing a characteristic beauty of its
THE little village of Kilsheelan lies on the left bank of the Suir, opposite
Gurteen. It is a station on the Great Southern and Western Railway,
but beyond the usual post office, police barrack, bakery, and " general
"A favourite subject fcr brush and cair era "Kilsheelan Bridge. //<"'" *.'/ ""< Author.
shop" the resources, or notable features, of Kilsheelan are few. There
is one beautiful feature, however, the graceful bridge which
spans the Suir at this point. It is a favourite subject for brush and
camera, and is pictured in most guide-books of the locality. There is a
broad wharf on the Tipperary side, which is often a scene of busy anima-
tion when cargoes of timber are being unloaded or embarked. The
whole makes a charming and long-remembered picture.
THE ancient town of Carrick-on-Suir, with, in these days, only o.GOO
inhabitants, has fallen somewhat from its ancient high estate. It is
THE SVIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. Go
to-day the market town of a large agricultural district, and is situated
in three counties Waterford, Tipperary, and Kilkenny. It is built
upon both banks of the Suir, upon the waters of which there is con-
siderable commerce up to this point. Carrick has still its mills and
creameries and its scenes of busy life on fair and market days. But in
the fifteenth century this Carrick was, after Waterford, the most im-
portant place upon the Suir. It was the town and chief residence of
the Earls of Ormonde, the heads of the Butler family.
In the fourteenth century Edmund Butler, Karl of Ormonde, who
died in 1464, built a lordly tower house for himself upon the Water-
ford bank of the Suir. It was a noble pile, four-sided, and built round
a central courtyard. The front, built in castellated style, faced the
Waterford Mountains and commanded the matchless view of the vale
between Waterford and Clonmel. The castle overlooked, and was pro-
tected by, the Suir upon the one side. It was protected on its landward
side by its tall Edwardian towers, which rise, to this day, grandly over
the Elizabethan house.
This Tudor house was added in more splendid and peaceful days
for the Ormondes by the tenth Earl of Ormonde, in loGo. This was
Thomas Dubh, " Black Tom," already referred to as " the Queen's Black
Husband." The countless repetitions of the royal initials " E.R."
upon the walls, and the remains of their portraits in fresco, give colour
to an assumption that Elizabeth's favour and admiration were recipro-
cated. But " Black Tom" was " dark" in more ways than one, as be-
hoved men in those days. He kept his own counsel, and his eye on the
The banqueting hall was last used on February 2nd, 1876, when 200
of the Ormonde tenants and retainers in the locality celebrated the mar-
riage of the present Marquis of Ormonde with Lady Elizabeth
Grosvenor. But for many generations Carrick has ceased, to be the
family residence of the Ormondes.
Few Irish baronial residences are more interesting than this ancient
seat of the Ormondes, both because of historic memories and existing
remains. Even in its decay this noble old house stands as a testimony
to the wealth and glory of the Ormonde Butlers. It was deftly and
magnificently ornamented by the cunning hands of skilled carvers and
Tudor artists in plaster. It is sad to se its richly moulded plaster
ceilings and its oak wainscots falling into decay, and its imillioned win-
dows and oriels open to the winds.
66 THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
The learned archa?ologist, Dr. James Craves, writing in 1863, says:
" If any of my readers want to get properly wrought up to the frame
of mind in which a ghost-story should be written, or read, I would re>-
commend them to await a stormy autumn twilight within these old walla.
I well remember such an afternoon, and have a vivid recollection of the
creaking doors and the hollow sighing of the wind along the darkened
passages. There are, however, it seems, no troubled ghosts to haunt
the castle. The old crone, who was then its caretaker, seemed indignant
at the supposition. But she confided to us her belief that the castle had
its tutelary fairy, by name ' Clurichaun,' or ' Leather Apron.'
" ' In the good old times,' said she, ' when there was " lashin's and
lavin's" in the castle, and no end of servants, as well as quality, in halls
and kitchens, it was " Clurichan's" business to see that the serving men
and maids did their duty. If not, they got a sound thrashing by means
of the leather apron which he always wore, and which gave him his name,
for he would lay that about their heads.' "
From the description of his dress it would seem that this Clurichaun
belonged to that numerous class of cobblers (or cordwainers) among
" the good people," who have a special concern for the affairs of mor-
" The old crone" of Dr. Graves' account repudiated any troubled
ghost, yet one such there might be if spirits return yearningly to scenes
of former innocence or enjoyment. Tradition tells that Carrick Castle
was the birthplace of Anne Boleyn, who became the second wife of
Henry VIII. She may well have spent part of her girlhood there.
Anne's grandfather (who died in lolo) at one time assumed the title of
Earl of Ormonde, in right of his wife, who was the daughter of the sixth
Earl of Ormonde, who died without a male heir. The title was, how-
ever, subsequently exchanged for an English one, and restored to the
nearest Butler heir, Pierce " the Red," eighth Earl and husband of the
famous Countess Margaret, who was a Fitzgerald, a notable castle-
builder, and a valiant and remarkable woman of her day. Whether
Carrick was her birthplace or not, it is quite possible that Anne Boleyn' s
" slender neck" may have been poked out of the oriels of the castle iii
her girlhood's days, when the fair head upon it held no thoughts of
AVindsor, nor of Hampton Court, much less of the Tower or the block.
Did the luckless Queen ever think of this glorious sweep of the Suir, as
seen from these windows, when she looked out upon the Thames through
THE SriK FHOM ITS .SOURCE TO THE SKA. 07
The Strand Walk runs past the castle, and alongside the river. It
serves as the principal promenade for the town. Xo visitor should miss
the view of the river and- mountain from the bridge, and from the
If time and opportunity serve, no visitor to Car rick should fail to
take a car from there for a drive along the leafy Kilkenny lanes, to visit
the splendidly preserved old Irish High Crosses of Ahenny and Kil-
keiran, some six or seven miles from Carrick. Few finer examples of
High Crosses are to be found in Ireland. Until recently their beauties,
or, indeed, their existence, have only been realised by antiquarians, or,
as they are called in the neighbourhood, " the Auntie-quare-ones." Then
back again we come to the river, now an ample, slow-flowing, and
markedly tidal waterway flowing between low banks fringed with high
TTBBOCGHXEY CASTLE already alluded to may be seen from the Suir
about two miles from Fiddown. The original building, of King John's
time, is still partly occupied, being incorporated with a modern dwelling-
house. About this point the counties of Tipperary and Kilkenny meet.
AT the. village of Fiddown, the Suir is crossed by a remarkably long
wooden bridge, -which rests upon an island in the middle of the river.
This bridge forms the chief means of communication with Portlaw, from
the left bank of the river. The name comes from Fidh-dun (" the wood
of the dun," or fort).
ABOUT a mile from Waterford the Carrick road goes past the ruins of a
magnificently placed castle upon the left bank of the Suir. Grannah-
or, as it is sometimes written, Graney was built by Pierce " the Red,"
eighth Earl of Ormonde, and by Margaret Fitzgerald, his wife, about
the time that Pierce was made Lord Deputy of Ireland, namely, 1521.
Rol>ert Rothe writes, in 1616, a memory of Pierce and Margaret: " The
saide Earl was, of himself, a plaine and simple gentleman (saving in
feats of arms), and yet, nevertheless, l\e bare out his honours, and the
charge of his government, very worthily, through the singular wisedome
of hi-s Countess, a lady of such porte that all estates of the realme
68 THE SriR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
crouched unto her, soe pollitique that nothing was thought substantially
debated without her advise. She was man-like, and tall of stature, very
liberall and bountifull, a sure friend, a bitter enemy, hardly disliking
where she fancied, not easily fancying where she disliked. She Avas a
good helpe and means, in those days, whereby her husban's countries
were brought to civilite."
Perhaps Margaret's " wisedome" was exercised in the choosing of
the site of Grannah Castle. Its name, which signifies " a place pro-
ducing grain," indicates the richness of the surrounding land. Its
position on the Suir renders it, even now in its ruin, a striking object.
From the towers and walls which remain a good idea may be formed of
the importance of this fortress when entire, and of its great strength.
The Suir by Grannah is about 400 yards broad, and, from the
castle, it may be sean winding through its rich valley for a considerable
distance. The river bank becomes higher and higher upon both sides
below Grannah, and grow increasingly picturesque. Under the cliffs,
upon the left bank, is Waterford Railway Station, and the wharfs and
quays of Waterford begin to bound the wide river.
BEFORE the Suir ireets its sister river, the Bannow, to form with it. to-
gether with the Xore, the noble estuary which reaches the sea sixteen
miles further south, it flows by the City oi' Waterford.
Waterford has been well described as consisting of "a very long
quay-side and a very few streats." It is no longer the " rich Water-
ford" of Spenser's day, but it is still a port of considrable importance,
a county town, and the seat of a diocese. Waterford's position, how-
o\ r er, must ever make it a place of importance, while its historical as-
sociations are more numerous than those of any other city in Ireland,
with the possible exception of Dublin. To write a complete history of
Waterford would be to write the history of Ireland.
The early Irish were a pastoral, else a hunting people, who dwelt
in easily moved dwellings of wattle, and defended themselves by means
of earth-works. They neither built towns nor made seaports. The
first to build seaports and fortresses in Ireland were the Danish in-!
vaders. Such strongholds were a necessity to them in Eirinn for the
collection and safe keeping of their rich spoils before shipping. Hut
it is, nevertheless, more than likely that the Danes at their first coming
found an Irish settlement already upon the estuary of the Suir. The
THE Sum FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
MKXAPIA of the ancients was, very probably, \Vaterford. In 270 /.D.
He read that an exiled tribe of the Deisi came to " the Port of the River-
Fork." and named it Port Lairge (" the Port of the Thigh"), because
of the thigh-shaped bend of the river at this point. In 8-52, Sitric the
Dane came to Port Lairge, captured and fortified it, and called it Vater-
Fiord ("The Ford of the Father," that is, of Odin).
For centuries Waterford remained a Danish stronghold and capital,
surrounded by stone walls, intact, with its own charter, customs, and
authority. The surrounding country groaned under Danish domina-
tion. The oppression of the Irish was likened unto the Babylonish
Captivity. The foreigners extracted from every Irishman a tribute,
which was called the Arigid Shrona (or " Xose Money"), because all
who would not, or could not, pay it were liable to have their noses cut
off. " And though there were but one milk-giving cow in the house
she durst not be milked for the infant of one night, nor for a sick person,
but must be kept for the foreigner, and however long he might be absent
his share or his supply must not be lessened."
This Danish tyranny was at last destroyed by the great King Brien,
first in his own Kingdom of Minister, and, finally, throughout Ireland.
In 980 he swept down the Suir valley from Cashel, and " ravaged and
plundered Port Lairge and banished their King, who had forced the war
upon him." Brien burnt the Danish stronghold to tjie ground. But
the power of the Danes in Ireland was not entirely ended even by the
great Irish victory of Clontarf on Good Friday, 1014. A Danish king-
dom lingered in Ireland, with Dublin, Limerick, Cork, and Waterfqrd for
its centres, until the coming of the Anglo-Normans in 1169.
In 1003, Reginald the Dane built the strong round tower on the river
bank at Waterford which still bears his name, and has survived many
strange scenes and vicissitudes. In 1050 another Reginald, or Ranald,
of whom Charles Kingsley wrote in his romance of " Hereward the
Wake," built the Church of the Holy Trinity, after the fashion of the
Danish church in Dublin which is now known as Christ Church
Cathedral. The foundations remain beneath the floor of the present
Protestant Cathedral, built in 1773 for a parish church. The Water-
ford Danes having embraced Christianity, elected Malchus, a Dane
and Benedictine, sometime of Winchester, in 1096, for their Bishop.
They sent a letter to Archbishop Anselm at Canterbury asking for his
consecration, which request was granted in the same year.
THE Sum FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
The most stirring scene of Waterford' s history was enacted on
August 25th, 1170, when Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke, nick-
named Strongbow, the Anglo-Norman knight-adventurer, was wedded to
Aoiffe (Eva), daughter of the treacherous and wicked King of Leinster,
Dermod MacMorrough. Tradition tells that this marriage took place in
Reginald's Tower, overlooking the Suir, which even still ran red with the
blood of the defenders of Waterford, and reflected the smoking and
smouldering ruins of the city.
Married to the Leinster petty king's daughter, Strongbow assumed
airs of sovereignty, and even aspired to be the Ard-Righ. But the
Reginald's Tower, Waterford.
marriage failed in its political object. According to Brehon Law no
hereditary rights could be conveyed by marriage, or through a female
heir. Aoiffe was in no sense the King of Leinster's heiress, not even
in the eyes of Leinstermen. All Aoiffe brought to Strongbow from
Dermod was the curse laid upon the King of Leinster that no true heirs
should succeed him. Neither Dermod nor Strongbow was survived by
legitimate male heirs.
Strongbow's assumed sovereignty was brief. In the next year,
1171, King Henry II. came himself over to Ireland to check the growing
insolence of Dermod and his son-in-law and to receive the submission of
THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
the Irish chiefs in person. He landed at Crook on October 18th, and
proceeded to Waterford on his way to Cash el.
Some years later, on April 1st, 1185, Henry II. 's son, John, then
Earl of Morton, landed at " the city by the Suir," and there established
a mint in Reginald's Tower, which was henceforth named Dundory (or
" The Fort of Gold"). John, now King of England, landed again at
Waterford in June, 1210. On the 25th of Aug\ist of the year following
he departed from " the opulent City of Waterford," having repaired
and extended the walls and bastions.
Waterford was burned to the ground in 1252, but rose triumphantly
from its ashes, with increased religous foundations. Richard II. landed
at Waterford in 1394, and again in 1399. The importance of " the City
by the Suir" as a port in close proximity to England connected it, more
or less, with every important event during the English connection.
Waterford's motto, " Frbs Intacta Manet Waterfordia," was
granted to it by Henry VII. in a letter of thanks to the citizens for their
refusal to acknowledge either of the Pretenders, Perkin Warbeck or
Lambert Simnel (both of whom were widely accepted as sovereigns
throughout Ireland), as well as for the bravery of the city during twelve
days of siege at the hands of the former, together with the Gi^eat Earl
of Kildare (Garret Mor), who espoused Perkin's cause in 1527. The
following year the King sent a Sword and Cap of Maintenance, to be
borne before the Mayor, which are still preserved.
Cromwell besieged Waterford in 1649, but was obliged to retirb.
The city, however, surrendered to Ireton the next year.
Waterford espoused the Stuart cause at the Revolution, and to
Waterford James II. fled after his defeat at the Boyne. From Water-
ford he hastened to Duncannon, a seaside village some eleven miles dis-
tant, whence he took ship to Kinsale and thence to France, never to re-
turn to his former kingdom. After the flight of King James II. Water-
ford surrendered to William of Orange, and William embarked from
Waterford for England on September oth, 1690.
The subsequent royal visits to Waterford were made under happier
circumstandes. Queen Victoria entered Waterford Harbour in her
yacht on August 4th, 1849, and anchored there for a night. She says
in her Journal: " We entered Waterford Harbour at twenty minutes to
four o'clock. The harbour is rocky on the right as one enters, and very
flat to the left. As one proceeds the land rises on either side. We
found a little fort called Duncannon Fort, where James II. embarked
72 THE Sum FKOM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
after the Battle of the .Boyne, -and from which they have not saluted
for fifty years. Further up, between the little villages, one on eithei
side, each with its little chapel picturesquely situated on the top of the
rock or hill, we anchored. The little fishing place to our left is called
Passage and is famous for salmon. We had an excellent specimen for
our dinner. Albert decided on going to Waterford, ten miles up the
river, in the ' Fairy' witli the boys, but as I felt giddy and tired I pre-
ferred to remain quietly on board sketching."
In May, 1904, Edward VII. spfent a day in " Vrbs Intacta" and
visited the Agricultural Show held there.
Although the City of Waterford teems with historic associations, but
few historic remains have survived the passage of time. With the ex-
ception of Reginald's Tower, which stands as a landmark upon the
southern end of the quay, adorned with an explanatory modern inscrip-
tion, the remains of old Waterford have to be sought for in out-of-the-
way nooks and corners. The castle is in the Tramore Railway Station
yard. St. Thomas's Church founded in the twelfth century and de-
dicated to the memory of St. Thomas a Becket by either Henry II. or
his son John is to be found behind the bonded warehouse of Messrs.
Downes. The walls may be traced in various unlooked-for places. The
two most interesting ruins in Waterford need some searching out.
They are Black Friars and the French Church. Black Friars was
founded for Dominicans in 1226. The Friary was surrendered by its
Prior, Matin, to Henry VIII. in 1541, and in 1599 it was granted by
Queen Elizabeth to her Deputy, Sir Anthony St. Leger. The French
Church takes its name from having been usad as a place of worship by a
colony of Huguenots dismantled and ruinous as it then was in 1693,
and for some time afterwards. It was founded in 1240 for Franciscan
Friars by Sir Hugh Purcell. Henry III. endowed it richly in 1245. It
was confiscated about 1546, and turned into an almshouse. It subse-
quently fell into disuse, until the French refugees obtained it. In it
are many notable tombs and graves of Watorford worthies, and the
ruins will repay a visit.
The fine quay, of which Waterford people are justly proud, and
which forms the distinguishing feature of their city, runs for more than
a mile along the bank of the Suir. " The gentle Suir's" waters have
borne many cargoes to this quay, and rippled on through many hap-
penings in many centuries.
Near the soutHern end of the quay is the Wooden Bridge, which
THE Sum FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
spans the wide river and was built in 1793 by an American bridge-
builder, Lemuel Cox, of American and Irish oak. It cost 30,000, and
was only declared toll free on the stroke of midnight on December 31st,
1907. A new bridge is now in process of construction.
Waterford was the birthplace of the beautiful Mrs. Jordan, the
Georgian actress, and of Charles Kean. Vincent Wallace, the com-
poser of " Maritana," etc., was also born there, as was Thomas F.
Meagher, " Meagher of the Sword," the " Young Irelander" and Gene-
ral of the U.S. Army.
From Mount Misery so called by Cromwell's soldiers the steep
lull opposite the city, the finest view of Waterford may lie obtained.
Over against Waterford the Abbey Church stands upon the site of the
once famous Augustinian Abbey of St. Mary-by-Kilculliheen, winch was
"So flowing all in one, all one at last become."
founded by no less notorious a patron than Dermod MacMorrongh, King
of Leinster. It was further endowed by King John and others, but
in 1557 its temporal and spiritual possessions were leased to the Cor-
poration of Waterford, who still hold them. The present church is
Many picturesquely placed residences adorn the banks of the Suir
below AVaterford. Close to the city is Newtown Park, where Field
Marshal Lord Roberts, son of a well-known Waterford family, spent
many years of his boyhood. Upon Mount Misery is Knockane Castle,
74 THE Sura FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
once the residence of Alderman Forristal, of American shipping fame.
On the Waterford side, near the upper end of the Ford, or principal
channel, of the Suir is Ballinakill House, in which James II. is sup-
posed to have taken his last night's rest in his own dominions.
About two miles from Waterford the Suir runs round Little Island.
The Fitzgeralds built a castle upon this island in the twelfth century.
It has been rebuilt and restored by the present owner, who bears the
same name, and is now a noticeable addition to the river-picture at this
A fine view of the confluence of the three rivers, and the imposing
estuary which they now form, may be obtained from Faithlegg, the
home of the Powers. The house nestles among its woods, and the
ruins of Faithlegg Church make a charming subject for the artist's
pencil. Faithlegg Hills commands the finest view in the district.
Opposite Faithlegg is Bellevue House, in which were spent the
earlier years of Richard Lalor Sheil, O'Connell's eloquent supporter.
The small square tower of Buttermilk Csatle overlooks the river
at this point. The ruin is supposed to have been a toll-house, or water
gatie, at which dues upon shipping were levied by the Abbot of Dun-
brody, or it may have served as a protection to the monks of Dunbrody
About six miles from Waterford, at the bend of the estuary, stands
the little village of Checkpoint.
AT Checkpoint the waters of the Suir mingle with those of " the goodly
Barrow" and " the stubborn Nore."
" All of which, long sundered, do at last accord
To join in one, e'er to the sea they come,
So flowing all in one, all one at last become."
The three rivers now form the great estuary, three miles wide,
known as Waterford Harbour. The juncture of the rivers is marked
by the Barrow Bridge, one of the largest railway viaducts in the United
Near this point " where the river of Waterford joins the river
of Boss," as the old chroniclers of the Abbey describe it stands one
of the finest monastic ruins in Ireland, Dunbrody Abbey.
THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 75
THIS great Cistei'cian hoiise was built, as its name indicates, on the dun,
or fort, of some Irish chief called Brody. The name of the site in Eng-
lish records is Port St. Mary. The Abbey dates from about 1182. The
twelfth century was an epoch of church building, alike among the Eng-
lish and the Irish. To this period belong the most splendid of the
Gothic and Transitional ruins in Ireland. Having acquired Irish
possessions and settled themselves therein, the Anglo-Norman invaders
turned their thoughts towards making peace with their God and amends
for their sins. This they did by means of monastic endowments or by
Crusading. The stalwart warrior barons who did not decide to make a
good end in the Holy Land sought it in religious retirement in monas-
teries of their own founding. Among these was Henry II. 's Marshal,
Hervey tie Montmarisco no attractive character, according to Cam-
brensis. For the benefit of his soul, together with those of his wife,
ancestors, heirs and sovereign, he gave the lands of Port St. Mary to
the monks of the Cistercian Abbey of Bildwas, in Shropshire.
Lands in the wild and unsettled country across the Channel had
little attraction for the snug Shropshire community. Ranulph, the
Abbot of Bildwas, sent " Alan, a prudent lay brother," to prospect.
Alan found the place a solitude, and his only shelter was a hollow oak
tree. Upon his return to Bildwas with this report, Abbot Ranulph
made over his Irish rights and obligations to the monks of St. Mary's
Abbey in Dublin. This community built St. Mary's Abbey at Dun-
The Rev. P. Power, M.R.I. A., has set forth the history of Dunbrody
Abbey in a pamphlet published by Harvey, Watfcrford. In it he says:
" The annalist does not note the ordinary, but the unusual and extra-
ordinary. Their scantiness of matter for history is perhaps one of the
best tributes to the discipline and religious spirit of the monastic es-
tablishments of Ireland." " Happy the nation which has no history.' 1
If this proverb be true, not only was Dunbrody a peaceful and
happy community, but many other religious houses on the Suir like-
wise, for example, Holy Cross, Athassel, Cahir, and Inishlonagh.
The Charter of Dunbrody has been preserved in the Abbey Regis-
ter, which is now in the Bodlean at Oxford. There is a tradition that
Hervey de Montmarisco took monastic vows and became first Abbot of
Dunbrody, but it is almost certain that he became, not a Cistercian,
76 THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA,
but a Benedictine, and that at Holy Trinity, Canterbury. His monu-
ment, or effigy, in black Kilkenny marble, once stood on thie Gospel
side of the high altar, with chalice in one hand, baton in the other, and:
vestments over his coat of mail. In 1798 the soldiers qxiartered in,
Duncannon Fort smashed statue and monument.
Dunbrody waxed greatly in prosperity and in imporance. The
Abbey was victorious in controversies with the Templars, although one
of the Abbots declared to Edward I. that the lawsuits had so im-
poverished the Abbey that it could neither " maintain hospitality nor
supply its own need." It was victorious also in a lawsuit with the
Augustinians of Athassel in 1255. In 1374 Pope Gregory XI. made the
head of Dunbrody a mitred abbot, and he became a Lord of Parliament.
Doubtless Dunl>rody's wealth attracted the cupidity of the spoiler.
Two years before the general Dissolution of the Monasteries, in the
reign of Henry VIII., Dunbrody was suppressed. The ostensible,
reason given was want of hospitality and of " constant good affection"
towards the Government. The lands passed from one to another until
marriage brought them to Arthur Chichester, Earl of Donegall, in the-
possession of whose descendants they remain.
The Cistercians were ever noble builders. Even in its ruin Dun-
brody retains the characteristic Cistercian massiveness and austerity.
The Rev. P. Power writes: "All is severe simplicity a realisation in-
stone, so to speak, of the rigorous Cistercian spirit. Whether the-
actual designers or masons were Irish or foreign matters little ; they
were influenced consciously or unconsciously by the Celtic building
tradition The free use of Caen stone (carried hither from
France) argues that it was no niggard hand which furnished the build-
The great east window is still perfect. It has three lights, deeply
splayed inwardly, and is surmounted by three smaller windows. The-
west door is still marvellotis for its stone filigree open-work carving,
" so raised as to allow easily the finger to pass under it." The west
window, together with the south wall, was allowed to fall before the
Board of Works (in 1895) rescued the great Abbey from complete decay.
THE wide estuary passes New Geneva, notorious in the sad days of
" '98" as a military station, marked now only by the ruins of the bar-
racks. Its name comes from the fact that, in 1785, a colony of Ge
. THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA. 77
vese craftsmen, obliged to leave their own country, petitioned Earl
Temple, then Lord Lieutenant, to give them permission to settle in some
part of Ireland. The Irish Parliament voted 50,000 for their settle-
ment and for the construction of this town for their reception. These
colonists were workers in gold and silver, and, to further encourage
them, an Act was passed changing the standard of gold in Ireland. An
Assay Office, an Assayer, and a special set of hall marks for the work
produced at New Geneva were provided. But the settlement was short-
lived. After six or seven years the industry suddenly ended. The
Genevese gold-workers left only a memory in a name.
At New Geneva, in 1800, was Lorn Samuel C. Hall, of Irish literary
and antiquarian fame. His accomplished wife and collaborator, Mrs.
S. C. Hall, was born the same year in the Hook district, across the
harbour. Their artistic and valuable work on "Ireland: its Scenery
and Character" still remains an inexhaustable and astonishingly accu-
rate storehouse of fact, legend and description. Husband and wife
did a worthy work for an Ireland then almost unknown.
THE next point of interest is Crook, the ancient landing-place where the
first English King to enter Ireland first set his foot on Irish soil.
Henry II. landed here on October 18th, 1171. Traces still remain at
Crook of the old castle of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, which
recall their lawsuits with the Abbots of Dunbrody, which have already
PASSAGE EAST nestles among the hills upon one side of the river ; the
village of Ballyhack is upon the other. The village of Arthurstown is
passed, the coast cliffs begin to show themselves, the great estuary
merges into the sea, and on the Spit, which extends nearly half way
across it, stands a lighthouse.
DUXCAXXOX FORT commands the entrance to "Waterford Harbour from
a fine strategic position on the Wexford shore. From the days of
Henry II., who fortified it, the fort was regarded as impregnable. It
was garrisoned in the days of the Armada in anticipation of a Spanish
attack. It successfully resisted the Parliamentary forces under General
Ireton. It is now dismantled, and impregnable no longer. It is
78 THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
famous as the scene of the last act of the Stuart tragedy in Ireland. It
is said that James II. fled from his dominions in such haste, after the
Boyne, that he caused the cable of the French ship which bore him
from Duncannon to be cut and the anchor left behind.
THE next village upon the estuary is Woodstown, with its fine strand
and beautifully situated residences. Loftus Hall, once the seat of the
Marquises of Ely, stands on the Co. Waterford side.
CREDAX HEAD is rounded, and the peculiarly-shaped headland of Hook
juts out southward. The Tower of Hook, now a large modern light-
house, makes a notable landmark. The old proverb, " By Hook or
by Crook," was probably originated by the navigators of this estuary.
Opposite lies the picturesque and popular seaside resort of Dunmore.
DUXMORE is beautifully situated upon the sea, which is here bounded
by a bold and rocky coast. Perhaps the finest and most glorious view
of the estuary of the Suir is to be obtained from the rocky hill above
Dunmore. Upon this wild and striking spot stands a fine cromlech,
called " The Druid's Altar." It is a fitting spot for worship. On the
one side lies Cremla Island and Hook Tower, upon the other the fine
Bay of Tramore with its ragged cliffs and precipices and its splendid
stretch of strand. It is worth noting that visitors to Waterford can
golf at Tramore.
AT Hook the great estuary which combines the three sister rivers
finally merges into the sea. The little water-drops that trickled out
into the simshine in the crevices of the " Devil's Bit" have travelled on
in the sunlight and the starlight, through shady pools and pebbly
reaches, by cottage, village, ruin and mill, meadow, fortress and wharf,
to the ocean. They have encountered many things upon their war
some sweet and gentle, some hard and evil.
" Sometimes the water-drop glides in the sun among mossy ledges,
or lingers by the edge of the copse where the hazels lean toegther ; but
sometimes it is darkened and polluted, so that it would seem that the
foul oozings that infect it could never be purged away. But the turbid
THE SUIR FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
elements the scum, the mud, the slime each of which, after all, has its
place in the vast economy of things 'float and sink to their destined
abode, and the crystal drop, released and purified, runs joyfully onward
in its appointed way."
So it is with the lives of men, and with the history of nations.
Through long and varied years, through strange and momentous
changes, by monuments of piety and oppression, the Suir has flowed
on to the sea. Through the vicissitudes of the centuries, through sun
and shade, through calm reaches and ruffled eddies, through rocks and
man-made barriers, through strange courses and sad pollutions, the soul
of man makes its way at last to the ocean of Eternal Love.
Much history has been made on the banks of the Suir, and the
whispering waters have a tale to tell to those with ears to hear. It is
well worth listening to, even in these hurrying times. " If any there
be" to quote the words of Camden, the old historian " which are
desirous to be strangers in their own soile, and forrainers in their own
Citie, they may so continue, and therein flatter themselves. For such
like I have not written these lines, nor taken these paines." Those
to whom Camden's words apply are becoming fewer and far between in
an Ireland where a renewed love for her legends and literature, and a
stronger interest and pride in her history, have lately arisen. But, " if
any there be" who are still " strangers and forrainers" to the fair
Woman-Land of Eirinn, close to England's shores, and accessible
nowadays to tourists of every description, may this little " river-book"
prove not merely a " guide," but the opening of a door. It presumes
to do no more.
Beyond that door lies the fascinating and unexplored land of Irish
history, legend, folk-lore, and literature. In that unexplored land
there is to be found a freshness, a charm, a spiritual insight, a spon-
taneity which have grown rare, and are fast growing rarer, elsewhere.
It is a change as complete as it is instructive. Into that land, as well
as to " the lovely green banks of the Suir," all who love Ireland, and
all who would learn to love her, are welcome.
" O come for a while among us and give us the friendly hand!
And you'll see that old Tipperary is a loving and gladsome land.
From Upper to Lower Ormonde bright welcomes and smiles will
On the plains of Tipperary the stranger is like a King!"
"Calm Reflections." Cahi,- Abbey.
r/iotot/rni>!i Ity the Author.
Fishing on the Suir.
" THE FISHFUL SUIHE" is scarcely as full of salmon or trout as it was
in the time of the old writer who thus describes it. There are more
barracks on its banks nowadays, for one reason, but as well as this the
river is netted from Clonmel to Dunmore, and the increased price of
salmon and the facilities of transport account for large " catches,"
which partake more of the nature of an industry than a pastime. Yet
the Suir is still a good salmon river, and many brown trout (" breac")
lie in its pools and tributaries. Nevertheless, it may be frankly stated
that for the tourist and the general public there is now no good free
salmon fishing on the Suir, or anywhere else. AYhat is worth preserving
is carefully preserved. The Irish gentry have, as a rule, retained the
fishing rights of their former estates. They are generally courteous as
to their preserved waters, and seldom refxise the request of a sporting
visitor. But, in consequence of the increase of anglers in Ireland,
property on a good salmon river has risen much in value and is now
much more carefully looked after than formerly.
The Suir commences to be a salmon river at Holy Cross, and salmon
fishing becomes good about Ballycarron. From Holy Cross to Golden
some of the river is open for licensed rods. The best salmon fishing
is in Cahir Park, which is well preserved by Lady Margaret Charteris,
and at Knocklofty, which is preserved by the Earl of Donoughmore.
There is good fishing about Bochestown, which is in private hands, and
at Ardfinnan, which belongs to Mrs. Prendergast, of Ardfinnan Castle,
and may sometimes be rented. There is likewise good fishing at Xeddins
and Newcastle, which is preserved. Marlfield is a favourite and favoured
spot, also preserved, and " the turn of the Abbey," at Innislonagh, is
well known to anglers.
There is a well-known pool " Dudley's" below Clonmel which is
preserved by Mr. Robert Malcomson. On a July forenoon in 1911 that
well-known fisherman successfully landed ten nice salmon and peal
between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at this spot. Some of the fishing below
Clonmel is open. About Clonmel, Kilsheelan, and Carrick there is
fishing from " cots."
82 THE Sura FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
Salmon fishing on the Suir begins on February 1st and ends on
October loth. March and April are the best months on the river.
Handsome fish are frequently landed on the banks of the Suir. One
weighing 401bs. was secured a few years ago by Col. G. Going at Knock-
graffon on a fly. The " Fishing Gazette" announced the sale of a
salmon weighing 561bs. and measuring 65 inches in length and 28 inches
in girtby which was caught in the Suir in June, 1911.
The largest salmon ever caught in the Suir weighed 581bs., and
was caxight near Ardmayle under circumstances worth re-telling. The
lucky fisherman was fishing for trout with worm when he saw the giant
fish. But he had not a single fly with him! He hurried off to the
nearest farmhouse to seek the materials with which to make one.
" Have you any feathers?" he breathlessly demanded of the first person
he met. " Xo, not a feather except in my best hat " began the.
girl. But the eager sportsman would listen to no excuses. " Bring
it here quick!" he cried. The hat was produced, a fly was hastily
tied, and he ran back to the river. After a while the salmon was
hooked. The man was alone, and it was fully six hours before he suc-
ceeded in landing his fish. When he exhibited his prize, the first ques-
tion asked him was the name of the deadly fly which had captured this
trophy. "Ah!" answered the man, gravely, r< that is the mystery!"
And the fly which killed the 581b. salmon in the Suir by Ardmayle has
borne the name of " the mystery" ever since!
Trout fishing is free on many parts of the Suir, and upon many
of its tributaries. From Clonmel to Kilsheelan there are several
favourite spots well patronised in leisure hours by the inhabitants of
Clonmel, young and old. The Anner, which joins the Suir below
Clonmel, is a good trout stream. Part of it, however, is preserved by
the Duchess of St. Albans. The Aherlow, which runs into the Suir by
Knockgraffon, is a favourite and prolific stream, easily accessible from
Cahir. The supreme beauty of the Glen of Aherlow refuge of Geoffrey
Keating, the Irish historian, in the seventeenth century makes this
tributary well worth exploring to its source. The Ara and the Nire
also hold trout, and good sport is to be had on the Tar about Clogheen,
a capital brown trout stream. The best trout on record at Clonmel was
caught on the Devon bait, and weighed 81bs.
The season for trout fishing on the Suir is the same as for salmon,
namely, February 1st to October 15th. April, May, and June are the
best months. In spring fishing the best hours of the day are between
THE Sum FROM ITS SOURCE TO THE SEA.
11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Late afternoon or twilight are not then favour-
able. " It is just in the ' sun-bursts,' which throw sharp shadows,
that the spring trout rises best. When say in March the glass has
indicated a sudden change from harsh, dry weather, the spring fisher
will get better sport than at any other time. Just when the hills have
caught the van-guard of ocean-bred clouds, and before the spate has
come down, every trout in the lower water glances hungry and expec-
The favourite artificial flies in these waters are the " black rail,"
the " hare's ear and claret," the " orange grouse," and " orange" and
" green wren." All seasonable standards, however, are useful on the
Suir. As a rule, Irish fish take larger flies than English trout. Natural
flies are often very successful, not excepting the horse fly " jist as
serious for the trouts as for the garrons" and, in these waters, a
lively worm is by no means to be despised.
Printed by THB CLOXMEL CHRONICLE Newspaper and Printing Works, Ltd.
THE MODERN IlllDnDT A MT MfiTIPC THE MODERATE
HOUSE. IMrUKIANI NullUL HOUSE.
Italian Warehouse t Wine and Spirit Store,
47 O'CONNELL STREET, CLONMEL
(Four Doors from West Gate;.
THE good Housekeeper needs more than thrift to make a choice
of Provisions. One must deal at the Store where QL'ALITY
and Moderate Prices are studied. I cater not only for your wants
but for your pocket.
Choicest Hams and Bacon. Leading Irish Brands only kept
Finest Creamery Butter, always fresh.
Finest English Cheddar and Canadian Cheese.
Jams. Jellies, Marmalades, Sauces, Pickles ; Limerick Brawn and Collared Head
in tins and glass : Biscuits from all the Leading Manufacturers, always fresh and
crisp ; Spices, Dried and Green Fruits in variety ; Tinned Fruits and Fish, etc., in
great variety ; Dainty Morsels ; Toilet Soaps, Perfumes, Essences.
The average Irishwoman is noted for her Tea ; she has the special
gift of selecting a blend not only pure but delicious. With such
clients to cater for I found it necessary to procure the best value in
the market, with the result that I can offer an exceptionally good
stock at prices ranging from 1/4 to 2/8 per Ib.
There are medium-priced brands at 1 8 and 2 - which I can
specially recommend, their flavour and purity being incomparable.
A 5lb. parcel \fi\l be sent post free on receipt of cash.
THE WINE & SPIRIT DEPARTMENT
Is furnished entirely with such brands as Hennessy's 1, 2, and 3 Star
Brandy ; John Jameson's Whiskey, 4, 7, and 10 years old, at 19/-,
2 1/-, and 22/- per gallon; Ports and Sherries, shipped direcc ; all
best ^brands of Champagnes,. Hocks and Mosellea ; Guinness's Extra
Stout and Porter ; and Bass and Allsopp's Ales.
THE BEST BOOK
for Tipperary folk at home
and abroad to read is their
own Book :
43 PARNELL STREET,
Price I/-; by Post 1/3.
Situated in healthiest part of town. Splendid 1'ictr.
Bar shocked "coitfv all I-iquors of very best quality.
Prompt attention. , EXCELLENT STABLING.
Hot and Cold Water Baths. 9P Terms Moderate.
SOFT BEAUTIFUL SKIN.
The winsome attractiveness and bewitching beauty
of a soft, clear, smooth, flawless skin is irresistible.
PARKE'S OATMEAL CREAM
cleanses and heals, cools, smooths, softens and
nourishes the skin. It is the nicest of all skin
It is non-greasy and therefore will not grow
hair. Price 7J/d., I/-, and 2/6 per pot.
/") T/T7 / Chemist and
JJ. VV. ^
Bakers and Confectioners.
BEST BREAD A SPECIALITY!
Home-made and Hovis Bread. .-. Confectionery made from Best Irish Flour.
B@- WEDDING and CHRISTENING CAKES
artistically turned out on the premises.
CLONMEL MACHINE BAKERY,
Watchmaker, Jexvs11sr and Optician.
44 GLADSTONE STREET,
WINE, SPIRIT, & PROVISION MERCHANTS.
Q i A f ( Fuller's Cakes and Confectionery.
Sole Agents for ( Wegt Surrey Rich Creaffl
Main Guard, CLONMEL.
W. & A. Gilbey's Wines and Spirits.
The Oldest and Best House in the South of Ireland
TOR ALL KINIS OF
Framing, Jfount Cutting, and Gilding,!
_Picture Frame Manufacturer,
Z Everlasting Wreath, Glass,
china & Musical warehouse,
WEST GATE, CLONMEL.
THE OLD-ESTABLISHED , .
harness and Saddlery Warehouse,
RIDING Saddles, Bridles, Horse Clothing, Brushes, Chamois,
Sponges, Keiu and Car Ropes, Bits and Whips of all descrip-
tions, Harness Oils and Compos.
All kinds of Cairiage, Gig 1 and Cart Harness made to order and
kept in stock.
Agents for Burman's, Brown's, and Chicago Power Clipping
Machines. Fancy Leather Goods and Footballs of very best
Trunks and Travelling Requisites, Motor Spirit, ( il and Grease.
Agents for the Kyi-Tyre Extinguishers.
Up. Gladstone Street, Clonmel.
FINEST AND PUREST TEAS.
JOHN JAMESON'S WHISKEY,
12, 7 and 6 Years Old.
Agent for W. & A. QILBEY, Wine Growers and Distillers.
INVALID PORT A SPECIALITY.
Finest Limerick Hams, Bacon, and Provisions
5 GLADSTONE ST., CLONMEL.
NEW DINING ROOMS,
33? Cambrian Hotel, 55 Parnell St., Clonmel
(OPPOSITE CorxTT Ci-ru).
THE Misses M. & N. GUIRY beg to inform their Friends and the Public that they have
secured the above Premises, where they have Opened
High-class Breakfast, Dining, Luncheon and Tea Rooms.
B^ 1 They hope to be favoured with a share of your patronage, and ran a<surr- Customers of
Personal Attention, Moderate Charges, and uo delay.
J/. ,V. Griltl (Proprietresses).
ggp Permanent Boarders may have Apartments, &c., by -pocial arrangement.
RONAYNE fe CO.,
Auctioneers, Appraisers, Ironmongers, .
Furniture Dealers, Coach Builders, . .
Harness Makers, Cabinet Manufacturers,
and Undertakers, .........
The Mart, Nelson Street,
No Better Value to be had for Money than the above Firm can supply.
Do you require High-class Wine for an Invalid ?
Do you require Superior Wine for your Table ?
IF SO, GIVE US A TRIAL.
JAMBS WHITE & CO.
THE BEST HOUSE IN IRELAND
BUY A RANGE
DENIS LO VARY'S,
THE BUILDERS' IRONMONGER,
jff/)f>6/>tr Hairdresser and . .
JtVLnZ/tt Dealer In Toilet Requisites,
18 Mitchel Street, Clomnel.
Bazors a Speciality. Strops in great Variety .
Large Selection of Brushes and Combs.
Ladies' Own Combings made up.
"Jtty 61onme1 Scrap Soofr."
EVERY visitor to County Tipperary's chief town should secure a copy of
" MY CLONMEL SCRAP BOOK," an interesting volume of stories,
sketches, and ballads, compiled and edited by JAMES WHITE. The book is
attractively produced, does not contain a dull page, and is published at a low
p r i ce 3/. ; post free 3/6. It will have a special charm for those who knew
Clonmel in the days of their youth, and after having been away from the old
town for a long time, return to find some of their familiar landmarks removed
it is true, but to discover also that Clonmel has taken a fresh and vigorous
lease of life. To be had from Mr. JAMES WHITE, Gladstone Street, Clonmel, or
local booksel'ers. " CLONMEL GUIDE " 2d. ; post free 3d.
A. New Selection of Watches, Clocks, and Jewellery.
SOLID SILVER AND ELECTRO -PLATED GOODS
SUITABLE FOR WEDDING PRESENTS,
All kinds of REPAIRS done on the Premises by Experienced Workmen.
P J KANE 13 Mitchel Stoeet
26 G-LADSTONB STREET,
M, H. HANNIGAN I
CYCLES, MOTOR CYCLES,
x;x- AND ALL ACCESSORIES.
PETROL, OIL, TYRES IN STOCK.
Pictorial Post Cards and Views of Cashel.
MAIN STREET, CASHEL (ClTY),
BEGS to announce that he has always in stock Photographic Views of The
Rock of Cashel, Hoar Abbey, Holy Cross Abbey, etc.. together with Post
Card Views of the following : The Cashel Railway Station, the Dean Kinane
Memorial Fountain, several views of The Rock, Holy Cross Abbey, Hoar
Abbey, Athassel Abbey, Presentation Convent, Rockwell College, and the
Dr. Croke Memorial Cross.
A splendid selection of all the above views in plush. Also instructive
guides to The Rock and Holy Cross Abbey.
Note Address "SENTINEL" Office, Cashel.
Licensed Jetoeller and
BUYER OF L_ANTIQUE __ANP i MODERN L. FURN'TURE.
JEWELLERY or Goods sent by post for pledge or sale will have immediate
attention. Money or offer sent by return of post in gold, notes, or postal order^
Offices 12 Irishtown and 26 Gladstone Street,
THE ONE GREAT HOUSE
ALL CLASSES OF DRAPERY GOODS
ttery fc *o., SEER'S, '**', *a/iir.,
ijfjEG to announce having received Large Consignments of the following
CT Goods : Grocery and Fruits of every description ; a fine selection of
Teas, Wines, Spiritt, all rare value at popular prices ; an endless variety of
Hardware, Cutlery, Brashes, Baskets, Ropes, Oils, Colours, Paints, Varnish,
etc. ; Feeding Stuffs, Meal, Bran, Pollard, Oil Cake, Linseed Meal, Flour,
Flax Seed, etc., at mill prices ; Garden, Field and Flower Seeds direct from
the Growers; every size Scantling in Timber, Flooring and Sheeting ; a good
supply of Bar Iron, Corrugated Sheets, Cement, Tiles, Bricks, Coal, etc.;
Boots and Shoes in endless varieties.
Ramess J^lade anc) Repaired on the Premises.
Agents for Goulding's and Lawe's Manures ; Pierce and Co , VVexford, and
Osbourne Machinery Co. ; Whitehaven Coal Co., etc.
Enquiries invited. Every Article at its Lowest Market Value. Prompt
and careful attention given to every order.
SLATTERYS SELECT SUPPLY STORES, CAHIR.
Wires : " Slattery, Cahir." 'Phone No. 04.
PARNELL STREET, CLONMEL.
Prompt attention. <8> <8> Terms moderate.
MISS CORBETT, PROPRIETRESS.
The Rink Carriage and 'Motor IBorks
QUEEN STREET, CLONMEL.
fp^AKRIAGES, CAES, and CARTS of every description Built and
\^y Repaired on the Premises .by thoroughly skilled Workmen, on
the most scientific principles. Rubber-tyred Wheels fitted to any
Carriage or Trap. Specifications and Estimates free.
TRY US FOR REPAIRS. Motor Garage by the week or month.
M. J. MEAGHER & SON, Proprietors.
Wholesale Sro?er. * Jea ^Merchant.
CL ON MEL.
W'ne importer and Whisky Bonder.
ies' and Gent's Tailor.
RIDING HABITS A SPECIALITY.
Patterns on application.
M/TCHEL STREET, CLOWMEL,
A Novel of New Ireland.
A Green Tree. By L. M. MCCRAITH.
In " A Green Tree" the author tells a charming story of
modern Ireland, and the influence of the new movements
upon the character of the people.
Crown 8vo, 3s. 6d.
" A well conceived tale of Irish life, full of deep tragedy and deferred
hope, and perhaps on that account, truer to life than if it were full of
boisterous humour." " Irish Independent."
" One of the most charming and readable stories that has emanated
from the pen of an Irish author for a long time past."" Freeman."
" The atmosphere of the tale is excellent, and we hope in the near
future to see further works of fiction from the same pen." " Daily
" . . effectively symbolises the fertile alliance of the old and new
forces of Nationalists in the Ireland of to-day." " Glasgow Herald."
" We congratulate the author on a genuinely Irish novel." " Deny
" Shows a deep knowledge of Irish life in most of its phases. It is a
thoughtful one, and, moreover, exceedingly interesting, and of good
literary quality." " Cork Examiner."
"A very readable and interesting story; forcibly narrated. The
author Jias told a good story, and told it well." " Bookseller."
" A ! study in contrasts." "Literary World."
" Interestingly told, and the literary powers of the author constantly
in evidence." " New Ireland Review."
" An Irish novel of literary value, with a plot and development which
hold the reader's attention continuously to the close." " Sydney
" Sees her characters, not as so much raw material, but as living men
and women with personalities very i-eal to her, and which, by her art,
become real to us." " Northern Whig."
" Must be classed as high-class literature." " Dundalk Herald."
" The interest lies in the author's sincere love of country; still more
in the restraint of her style and the natural feeling which marks the
book throughout." "Times."
" Much pleasant writing . . . well told." " Scotsman."
" A careful piece of work, showing intimate knowledge of high and low
life in Ireland." " Publishers' Circular."
Dublin: Seaiy, Bryers and Walker, Middle Abbey St.
A 000032391 5